nl en

Democracy and Populism in Europe


Admission requirements

Registration for the Minor European Union Studies or admission to the pre-master European Union Studies.


Since a number of years the European integration project is challenged and under pressure due to the rise of populist and Eurosceptic parties and movements in a number of member states of the EU. The causes of the rise of populism and Euroscepticism are diverse. But one is that parts of the population of EU member states are dissatisfied with the functioning of democracy. They donot feel represented both at a national level and at the level of the EU. At the same time it is clear that functioning democracies are the very foundation of the European integration process and that the EU cannot prosper without the support of its citizens.

Issues that will be discussed during this course are:

-What are the main characteristics of populism and of Euroscepticism?
-What are the main causes of the rise of populism and Euroscepticism?
-Is populism a threat to the democratic system or a ‘wake-up call’ for renewal of democracy?
-To what extent is Euroscepticism a threat to the EU?
-How to respond to this development, both at a national and a European level?

Course objectives

  • To provide students with greater understanding and knowledge of the meaning of populism and Euroscepticism and its impact on the European integration process.

  • To provide students with insight into the challenges that the EU is facing in this respect.

  • To develop students’ skills in respect of research, writing, presentation and debate.


The timetable is available on the International Relations website

Mode of instruction

Lectures + seminars + individual presentations

Course LoadT

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • lectures and seminar 13 x 2 hours = 26 hours (attendance is compulsory)

  • preparing for class presentation = 14 hours

  • studying compulsory literature = 40 hours

  • research and writing research paper = 60 hours

Assessment method


The final mark is based upon a combination of the following elements:

  • active participation in the course and class discussions (20%)

  • individual presentation (power point) (20%)

  • research paper (60%)

The research paper will only be marked if the student has attended the lectures and seminars.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Revise and resubmit the research paper.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

A reading list will be distributed at the start of the course, including compulsory reading for each class.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch


Prod.dr. J.Q.T. Rood