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Politics Europe


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


The European subcontinent is home to approximately fifty states that are almost without exception democracies, as well as to the most ambitious intergovernmental organization worldwide – the European Union. In this course, we will study both the politics of the European states and the (recent) history, institutions, and policies of the European Union. The theoretical framework of the course is constituted primarily by comparative politics (especially constitutions, political parties, electoral systems, subnational governance, etc.). Next to the older democracies of Western Europe, the course will also look at the experience of the formerly communist states of Central and Eastern Europe.

Course objectives

Students gain insight into the politics of the modern democracies of Europe and of the European Union. They are trained to apply theories and concepts from comparative politics to particular cases from Europe. Students develop research and presentation skills through the tutorial.


The timetable will be available on the BA International Studies website .

Mode of instruction

Lecture course with tutorials.

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Coarse Load

Total course load for the course 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by:

Attending lectures: 24 hours;
attending tutorials: 8 hours;
tutorial assignments: 34 hours;
Preparation for lectures: 48 hours;
Preparation for exams: 26 hours.

Assessment method

Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver, Peter Mair, Representative Government in Modern Europe. Institutions, parties and Governments, Boston, McGraw Hill, 5th edition, 2011
Selected articles and book chapters (see Blackboard before the start of the course)


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. M. Bader, email