Tue, Mar 3

POL 307-800, European Politics
Spring 2020 | warkentin.xyz/307

Housekeeping

Articles

Discussion

Chapter 4

Is Europe one? (125)

  1. Looking ahead ten to twenty years, do you think European integration will deepen? In what ways?
  2. In what policy area to you think EU integration has been least effective? Do you think the EU will abandon or retreat from efforts to pursue integration in this area?

In focus (130)

  1. Has CAP outlived its usefulness and original justification?
  2. How might CAP conflict with other policies and goals of the EU and create tensions within the EU?

Application questions (138)

  1. The EU spends a great deal of money redistributing wealth from richer countries to poorer ones. Whereas one might be able to understand how regional redistribution is plausible within a single country (e.g., think of transfers to eastern Germany, Scotland, or poorer parts of the US), how does such a scheme work in a multinational environment? Why would richer states agree to this?
  2. After reading this chapter, are you more or less convinced about the need for European integration? Do you think the EU should go further in its stated goal of "an ever closer union of peoples"? At this point what would tangible steps in that direction look like?

Further analysis

Chapter 5

Is Europe one? (149)

  1. Do you view the existence of "European level" decision-making more as a necessity and logical outgrowth of common, transnational problems that require concerted action, or more as a deliberate usurpation of national power?
  2. What actions or reforms might best balance the power of the EU and those of national-level parliaments?

In focus (165)

  1. Can you say that one type of electoral system (plurality or proportional representation) is more "democratic" than the other? [Explain.]
  2. What are advantages to voting for a candidate instead of a party? What might be some disadvantages?

Application questions (168)

  1. Would you favor changing the electoral system in your country? What electoral system do you believe would function best? [Why?]
  2. Some believe a proportional representation electoral system can be bad because it allows "extreme" parties to gain seats in parliament. One could counter that it is important that all voices in the country, even "extreme" ones, be represented. Looking at cases in Europe or thinking of your own country, do you see this as a problem with proportional representation? [Why or why not?]
  3. Why do you think women are better represented in the parliaments of Scandinavian countries than in Great Britain, France, or post-communist states? Should parties adopt "affirmative action" style policies or quotas to ensure better female representation?
  4. What is meant by the idea of a "wasted vote"? How does this occur under SMDP and PR? What, if anything, can be done to eliminate this problem?
  5. Why would a country have a bicameral legislature? Are there advantages/disadvantages to bicameralism? [Explain your answer.]

Further analysis

Resources