EGO405 Comparative Politics of EU countries

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2018
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 8 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. PhDr. Vít Hloušek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Lenka Kováčová (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Vít Hloušek, 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 9:45–11:15 P22
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans 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 an initial basic survey and comparative methodological basis about political systems, political institutions and processes that are typical for the highly-developed democracies of Europe. In the second part, the 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 should become familiar with comparative methods in the analysis of political systems, institutions, and processes that are typical for the developed European democracies. First, students get a basic introduction to the issue of system-comparison of democratic states, including basic classification and typology of democratic systems (presidential, parliamentary, direct democracies). The course focuses on French, British, German, and Swiss political systems, because these systems are telling examples of the aforementioned theoretical models. The students are also introduced to the political systems of the Scandinavian countries, the Low Countries, and Spain. Finally, the position papers written in this course are designed to improve the abilities of students in comparative-oriented research and writing. At the end of the course, the student will be able to apply concepts of comparative politics to Western European political and party systems. The student will be able to compare political institutions, political parties, and party systems, and will also be able to assess the main challenges and to discuss key issues of contemporary European politics.
  • 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 the concept of Europeanization of domestic politics
  • 5. The 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. The political systems of Mediterranean countries
  • 12. Special seminar devoted to role of domesatic political institutions in the EU policy-making
  • 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
Teaching methods
The course includes lectuers and seminars. Students are expected to write seven brief position papers on topics 5-11.
Assessment methods
The final written test will be composed from 2 major questions (each max. 15 points) and 7 brief questions (each max. 5 points).
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2018, recent)
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