Political Science 827
Winter Quarter 1998
Tuesday, Thursday 5:30-7:45
250 Sparks Hall
Dr. William M. Downs Office Hours: M, W 2:00-3:30
Department of Political Science 1013 General Classroom Building
Georgia State University Tel: 651-4841
The principal aim of this course is to achieve an advanced understanding of major theoretical, empirical, and substantive issues in contemporary European political systems. A comparative methodological approach will encourage critical thinking about key trends and controversies, and it will enable students to assess the performance of individual political systems in relation to broader patterns in both Europe and North America. Readings will introduce a variety of approaches and methods employed in comparative political analysis. Among the topics covered by readings and discussions will be the following:
Regarding the last item in this list, the course provides analysis of
the political and economic rationales for the European Union, evidence
on the development of trade and growth in the EU, details of the Single
Market program, analysis of convergence and disparities within the EU and
prospects for EU enlargement by integration of Central European economies.
Focus will be on integration theory and measurement and analysis of EU
policy making illustrated with current issues such as Economic and Monetary
Union and employment.
TEXTS AND COURSE MATERIALS
The following texts are available for purchase at the Park Place Bookstore:
Lane, Jan-Erik and Svante O. Ersson. 1996. European Politics: An Introduction. Sage.
Taylor, Paul. 1996. The European Union in the 1990s. Oxford University Press.
Holmes, John W. 1997. The United States and Europe after the Cold War : a new alliance? Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina Press.
Anderson, Christopher. 1995. Blaming the Government: Citizens and the Economy in Five European Democracies. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe.
Laver, Michael and Kenneth A. Shepsle. 1996. Making and Breaking Governments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Notes on Articles and Chapters: Additional readings will come from select journal articles and book chapters, which will be made available to you. Unless otherwise indicated, all required journal articles and book chapters are on reserve at Library South. Moreover, we may decide to distribute a copy of the following week's reading at each seminar session--allowing those who wish to then arrive at their own system for copying and circulation. Those for whom neither of the above systems works may be able to check materials out for 2 hour periods from the file holder on my office door.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING SYSTEM
"Review" Papers: Students will write two discussion
papers (each approximately 1250 words in length) during the course of the
quarter. The review essays will raise a single or a series of theoretical
or methodological questions or criticisms on the work being discussed for
that particular week. Assignments will be staggered so that several essays
will be prepared each week. Each essay is due by 3:30 Wednesday, the day
before each seminar session. Copies are to be given at that time to me
and should also be distributed to all remaining seminar members via e-mail.
At the seminar session itself, all essay writers will be allocated 15-20
minutes to present their argument.
Research Paper: An original research paper addressing one of the areas emphasized in this seminar is required and due at the end of the quarter (Tuesday, March 17 at 5:00). We will discuss the specifics of this project early in the Quarter.
FYI: You should periodically check my web page http://www.gsu.edu/~polwmd/page.html for assignment updates, useful resources, and class materials.
Grade: The final seminar grade will be determined on the basis of the following weights:
Review Essays 20%
Research Paper 35%
Final Exam 25%
January 6 Introduction
January 8 History/Economics/Social Structure--Broad comparative dimensions
Kesselman and Krieger, "Introduction," European Politics
in Transition, 3rd edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
Week 2 Structuring Institutions: The Territorial Axis
Week 3 Structuring Interests: Parties and Party Systems
Week 4 Structuring Power: Making and Breaking Governments
Week 5 Politics, Economics and the Structure of Credit and Blame
Week 6 Public Sector Politics and the European Welfare State
Week 7 Integration and European Union Politics I
Week 8 Integration and European Union Politics II
Week 9 US-EU Relations
March 10 No Class
March 12 Exam
March 17 Research Papers due
British Journal of Political Science
Comparative Political Studies
European Journal of Political Research
Government and Opposition
International Political Science Review
Journal of Common Market Studies
Journal of Comparative Economics
Revue française de science politique
Rivista de Estudios Politicos
Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica
Scandinavian Political Studies
Studies in Comparative Communism
West European Politics