FSS:VIS411 Comparative Politics of EU - Course Information

VIS411 Comparative Politics of EU countries

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2019
Extent and Intensity
1/1. 8 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. PhDr. Vít Hloušek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Petra Kuchyňková, Ph.D.
Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Olga Cídlová, DiS.
Supplier department: Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Wed 10:00–11:40 P21
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course is focused on comparative analysis of political systems of West European countries. The topics are selected in a way that allows students to obtain first the basic survey and comparative methodological basis about political systems, political institutions and processes that are typical for the European highly developed democracies. In the second part, course is organized as a set of seminars devoted to particular issues in contemporary European politics using selected country-studies as examples and background for in-class discussion. At the end of the course the students shall become familiar with comparative methods in the analysis of political systems, political institutions and processes that are typical for the developed European democracies. First, students get basic introduction to the issue of systemcomparison of democratic states, including basic classification and typology of democratic systems (parliamentary, presidential, direct democracies). The course focuses on French, British, German and Swiss political systems, because these systems are excellent examples of the aforementioned theoretical models. The students are also introduced the political systems of the Scandinavian countries, the Low Countries, and Spain. Finally, the position papers written in this course shall improve the abilities of students in the comparative-oriented research and writing. At the end of the course, student will be able to apply concepts of comparative politics on Western European political and party systems. Student will be able to compare political institutions, political parties, and party systems. Student will also be able to assess the main challenges and to discuss key issues of contemporary European politics.
  • Class Schedule
  • 1. Basic concepts of comparative analysis of political systems
  • 2. Parties and party systems – framework for analysis
  • 3. Electoral systems and their political consequences
  • 4. Multilevel politics and concept of Europeanization of domestic politics
  • 5. United Kingdom
  • 6. Germany
  • 7. French semi-presidential democracy
  • 8. Swiss direct democracy
  • 9. Political systems of the Low Countries
  • 10. Political systems of Scandinavian countries
  • 11. Political system of Mediterranean countries
  • MAGONE, José M. Contemporary european politics : a comparative introduction. First publ. New York, NY: Routledge, 2011. 651 s. ISBN 9780415418935. info
  • Comparative European politics. Edited by Josep M. Colomer. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2008. ix, 310. ISBN 9780203946091. info
  • Comparative politics. Edited by Daniele Caramani. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. xliv, 786. ISBN 9780199298419. info
  • ALMOND, Gabriel A. Comparative politics :a theoretical framework. 3rd ed. New York: Longman, 2001. x, 213 s. ISBN 0-321-08453-5. info
Teaching methods
The course is based on combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will introduce basic notions, conpcepts and techniques of comparative politics research. Semminars will be based at class discussion concerning particular coutry case studies in comparative perspective.
Assessment methods
Students are expected to write seven brief position papers (500-700 words each plus footnotes and list of references) on the topics 5-11. The concrete aims of position papers are explained within related topics. Each position paper could be evaluated by 0-5 points (max. 35 points together for all papers).
Content of the Test: The final written test will be composed from 2 large questions (per max. 15 points) and 7 brief questions (per max. 5 points).
The final grade consists of written exam test (65 per cent) and position papers (35 per cent):
“A” grade 92 – 100 points
“B” grade 84 – 91 points
“C” grade 76 – 83 points
“D” grade 68 – 75 points
“E” grade 60 – 67 points
“F” grade less than 60 points
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/fss/spring2019/VIS411