Political Science 455 Spring 2003
Government & Politics of Western Europe TR 1:00-2:15
Prof. Lee Ann Banaszak Office Hrs: TR 3:00-4:30 p.m.
210 Sparks Building and by appointment
Telephone: 865-6573 E-mail: LAB14@psu.edu
This course will examine the similarities and differences of the democratic governments of Western Europe. I assume that students in this class have had PLSC 20 or PL SC 3 (if not you should see me) and therefore have some rudimentary knowledge of European politics. The purpose of this class is to: 1) put some of that knowledge in a theoretical perspective 2) deepen your knowledge about the countries you already know and 3) expand your knowledge to other parts of Western Europe. We will begin by examining different definitions of democracies and looking at two types of democratic systems: majoritarian and consensus democracies. Then we focus on one explanation for why some democratic institutions seem to work and why others do not. The third section of the course focuses on the European Union; in addition to exploring its role in Europe we will examine whether it qualifies as a democratic institution.
Lijphart, Arend. 1999. Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performances in Thirty-Six Countries. Yale University Press: New Haven.
Steiner, Jürg. 1997. European Democracies. Fourth Edition. Longman: New York.
Putnam, Robert. 1993. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Hix, Simon. 1999. The Political System of the European Union. New York: St. Martins. ISBN 0-312-22536-9
All other readings are available through the Electronic Reserve System of Pattee Library. This can be accessed by logging into http://cat.libraries.psu.edu using your PSU Access Account and Password. From “The Cat” page, press the hot link to “Course Reserves” then search for the class number. All readings for the semester will be listed there so be sure to check that you are reading the correct reading.
The New York Times: All students are required to read stories in the weekly The New York Times (excluding weekend newspapers) about politics in European countries. While other newspapers may provide similar coverage I will be referring to specific newspaper stories in class. If you chose a different paper, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are getting the same information that you need. We will occasionally discuss current European politics stories in class. Any material of this type is fair-game for the exams.
Course Requirements and Grades.
Student Responsibilities: The class will meet TR from 1:00-2:15 PM. Most sessions will be devoted to class discussions. The midterm and final exams will include material from assigned readings, class discussions, and the occasional lecture. It is your responsibility to attend class or to obtain good notes from fellow students when you miss class.
Lectures and class discussions are designed to provide additional material and highlight some of the important features of each topic -- not to review the reading. It is therefore important to have read and thought about the assigned readings prior to the class period. Class participation, which constitutes 10% of your grade, will be judged in part by its quality which means being informed about the readings when we discuss them.
Grades: Grades will be determined on a strict percentage basis using the following scale: A = 95-100%, A- = 91-94%, B+ = 88-90%, B=84-87%, B-=81-83%, C+=78-80%, C=70-77%, D=60-69%, F= 59% or below. The criteria and their relative weight in your final grade are as follows:
Makeup Assignment for Class Absences
Absences will be excused only by completing a make-up assignment. The make-up assignment is a 2 page typewritten paper explaining what was covered in the missed class, and explaining its relevance to the major questions in the course. In order to complete this assignment you will need to receive notes from other students in the class. Make-up assignments will be accepted only for two weeks after the student returns to class. Students who have suffered from lengthy illnesses may petition to have the two week deadline waived.
Late Policy for Papers and Paper Proposals.
Late assignments and final papers will be graded down one letter grade for each business day they are late (e.g. from A to A-), and will not be accepted if they are more than a week late unless there is proof of a serious emergency.
Exam Make-Up Policy.
NO MAKEUP EXAMS will be allowed unless written proof is provided of a serious emergency (e.g. hospitalization, death of a parent). In such cases, you must contact me as soon as possible to arrange alternative exams; failure to do so will result in an F for the exam. In these rare cases, the makeup exam will be in essay format and include material covered in the intervening period.
Please see the departmental policy on academic dishonesty attached to this syllabus. You should know that I take academic dishonesty very seriously. All students caught committing acts of academic dishonesty will be referred to Judicial Affairs and will receive an F in the course.
The largest confusion about academic honesty occurs on the question of plagiarism. Failure to provide adequate acknowledgment of the source of ideas which are not your own constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs even when you paraphrase ideas that are not your own as long as you do not credit the original source. Therefore, even when you paraphrase, you must provide adequate citations. A second common mistake is inadequate use of quotation marks. Even if you take as few as 3 consecutive words from a source, you need to use quotation marks and provide a citation. If you paraphrase a work, be sure that it is completely different from the original in structure and language, and that you provide a citation to the original source. If you are unsure when and how to use quotation marks or how to adequately cite materials, use a guide to writing English (I will be happy to recommend one), visit the Writing Center (219 Boucke, 865-1841), or see me.
Tentative Schedule and Readings
Class 1 1/14 Introduction to Policies and Procedures and Overview of the Course
Definitions of Democracy
Class 2 1/16 Readings: Dahl, Robert. “Democratization and Public Opposition.” from Chapt. 1 of Polyarchy
Class 1 1/21 Readings: Huber, Evenlyne; Dietrich Rueschmeyer and John D. Stephens. 1997. “The Paradoxes of Contemporary Democracy:Formal, Participatory and Social Dimensions” Comparative Politics (April) pp. 323-341
European Democracies in a Comparative Perspective
Class 2 1/23 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 1-61
Class 1 1/28 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 62-89 and
Inglehart, Ronald. 1971. “Value Change in Industrial Societies”. American Political Science Review 65: 1289-1303.
Class 2 1/30 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 90-115 and
Chapter 3 on Cabinet Formation in Steiner, Jürg.
European Democracies, Longman: New York.
Class 1 2/4 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 116-142
Class 2 2/6 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 142-170 and
Chapter 2 on Parliamentary Electoral Systems in Steiner, Jürg, European Democracies.
Class 1 2/11 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 171-184 and
Chapter 6 on Economic Interest Groups in Steiner, Jürg, European Democracies.
Class 2 2/13 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 185-215 and Bogdanor, Vernon. 1999.
“Devolution: Decentralisation or Disintegration?” Political Quarterly, 70 (2), April-June: 185-194.
Class 1 2/18 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 216-257 and
Trillin, Calvin. 2000. “How to Get Elected As Citizen.” Time, May 22, 2000, p. 32
Class 2 2/20 Patterns of Democracy, pp. 258-309
Class 1 2/25 Review
Class 2 2/27 Exam
Social Capital, Cultures, and Democracy in Italy
Class 1 3/4 Library Class, Meet in 302 Paterno Library
Class 2 3/6 Introduction to Italian politics
Read Fabbrini, Sergio. 2000. “Political Change without Institutional Transformation: What can We Learn from the Italian Crisis of the 1990s?” International Political Science Review 21(2): 173-196.
Class 1 3/18 Read Putnam pp. 3-62
Class 2 3/20 Putnam pp. 63-120
Paper Proposals Due
Class 1 3/25 Read Putnam pp. 121-185
Class 2 3/27 Read Newell, James and Martin J. Bull. 2002. “Italian Politics after the 2001 General Election: Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose?” Parliamentary Affairs 55: 626-642.
The European Community
Class 1 4/1 Development of the EC
Read Hix, Chapter 1
Class 2 4/3 No Class
Class 1 4/8 Executive Politics
Read Hix, Chapter 2
Class 2 4/10 Legislative Politics
Read Hix, Chapter 3.
Final Paper Proposals Due
Class 1 4/15 Judicial Politics
Read Hix, Chapter 4
Class 2 4/17 Public Opinion and Mass Support
Read Hix, Chapter 5
Class 1 4/22 Parties and Elections
Read Hix, Chapter 6
Class 2 4/24 Interest groups
Read Hix, Chapter 7
Class 1 4/29 Redistributive Policies
Read Hix, Chapter 9
Class 2 5/1 Review and Catch up day
Final Exam Tentatively Scheduled for Thursday, May 8, 4:40-6:30 p.m.