HISTORY OF EUROPEAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of the course is to provide the students with the fundamental theoretical tools needed to understand the main political and institutional representations, which have characterized the European continent throughout its historical development.
After completing the course, the student should achieve the necessary competences in order to understand the evolution and the functioning of the European institutional system, as well as the main theoretical and political debates concerning the European integration process.
Course contents summary
The first part of the course will deal with the analysis of the main forms of political and institutional representations, and identify their links with relevant juridical and political paradigms that have depicted the philosophical thought from the XVI to the XX century (e.g. realism, cosmopolitism, constitutionalism). Specific attention will be given to the transformation of the concept of “sovereignty” and the idea of “Europe”. In particular, the course will tackle the internal and external dimension of sovereignty, taking into consideration the critical readings developed by the Europeanist thinkers as well as by some important jurists and philosophers from the XX century (e.g. Carl Schmitt, Hans Kelsen, Michel Foucault).
The second part of the course will deal with the analysis of the European integration process (starting from its origins with the birth of the ECSC and EEC in the Fifties till the recent EU institutional architecture), with specific focus on the theories of European integration, such as federalism, functionalism, neo-functionalism and multilevel governance. The course will provide in-depth and critical analysis about the European system and will also deal, from a philosophical and political point of view, with the European legal order, the historical evolution of the structure and the functioning of the main European institutions (Commission, Parliament and Council). Finally, specific attention will be given to the debate on the recent political and economic crisis and the role of Germany in the EU governance
1.Institutional part: M. Telò, Dallo Stato all’Europa. Idee politiche e istituzioni, Carocci, 2014.
2. Monographic part:
A. Somma,L’altra faccia della Germania. Sinistra e democrazia economica nelle maglie del neoliberalismo, Derive Approdi, 2015
one book to be chosen in the following reading list (*)
I. Kant, Per la pace perpetua, ed. Feltrinelli
F. Chabod, Storia dell’idea d’Europa, Laterza 2010;
C. Schmitt, Terra e mare, Adelphi 2002;
A. Spinelli, Il Manifesto di Ventotene, Mondadori, 2006
(*) This part can be substituted by a written paper on a topic discussed with the Professor and presented in class, at the end of the course.
Lectures, individual research and/or group research.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written exam for the institutional part. Oral exam for the monographic part.
Knowledge and understanding skills will be assessed through some questions verifying that the students have understood the main concepts, the categories of Political thought and relevant authors, as well as the cornerstones of the historical evolution of the European integration process.
Applying knowledge will be assessed by stimulating the student to identify links between historical and philosophical knowledge and concrete problems related to recent social phenomena. The student will be asked to discuss a few important topics related with the contemporary political debate.
The capacity of making judgments will be assessed by stimulating the student to develop personal and critical reasoning about a specific topic or author. The student may also write a paper on a topic related to the programme.
Communication skills will be evaluated by assessing how students master historical and political lexicons ant their respective degree of ability to give appropriate definitions and explanations of meanings of specific expressions. Both writing skills and efficacy in oral presentations will be assessed.
Learning skills will be assessed through one or two questions aiming at verifying that students have acquired and elaborated the crucial stages of the history of Europe and of its institutions, as well as the main concepts of political philosophy and history of political thought, applied to the study of European institutions.