Summary of course content:
In this course you will explore those advanced
industrial political systems most comparable to the US: West European politics,
public policy and institutions. You will find in Steiner's book topical
and comparative analysis of West European governments generally, with (in
Wilson's text) case studies of British, French, Italian, Swedish and German
government which present interesting contrasts with American politics.
You will learn through texts and video documentaries about the development
of the European Union, perhaps spotting some similarities with dilemmas
the American Founders faced two centuries ago. You must also expect to
discuss current international affairs, such as a European crisis or a referendum,
or European attitudes to US foreign policy.
comparison of institutions and processes of major
liberal democracies in Western Europe.
development of European Union
special emphasis on political concepts and theories
in social democracies.
current political and economic developments in
comparison and contrast with processes, institutions
and values in the United States.
Thus you will experience both the modern comparative,
topical and supranational approaches with the traditional country-by-country
method. You should by the end of the course understand Western European
social democratic states and their values; and how the European system
is constantly changing over time.
The style of the course will be a reading-based
seminar with students contributing essays, presentations and a research
Midterm essay test
Final comprehensive essay exam
Term paper of 15-20 standard pages in APSA citation
Class participation (discussion, presentations,
In summer course format, these count about equally
(Latest available editions may be substituted).
1. Steiner, Jurg. 1998. European Democracies,
Edition. New York: Addison-Wesley Longman. (Entire.) Steiner gives a lively
explanation of the contrasts in political values and practice found in
Europe, and compares them with those found in the USA.
2. Wilson, Frank L. 1999. European
Politics Today: The Democratic Experience. 3/e. Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. A well-written, incisive country-by-country
analysis of major developed nations and the European Union.
3. Curtis, Michael (ed) The Great
Political Theories, vols I and II. NY: Discus /Avon. (Political
science companion reader, useful in all Dr. Lewis's Political Science classes.)
Recommended Media Sources:
Watch the BBC World News (currently weeknights
on PBS at 2330 - midnight), and on cable TV the House of Commons debates
on Access /C-SPAN Sunday evenings. You should also surf into Europe on
the World Wide Web (see my web page of comparative politics sources).
Recommended readings, great for term papers:
Castle, Francis G. and Diane Sainsbury.
1990. "Scandinavia: The Politics of Stability", Part VI of Roy C. Macridis,
ed. Modern Political Systems: Europe. Seventh Edition. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Economist Newspaper, selected topical
surveys and briefings. From the premier global newspaper.
Hancock, M. Donald (ed). 1998. Politics
in Western Europe.
Second Edition. NY: Chatham House. (Entire.) Hancock
is lively, inexpensive and up to date; it provides country-by-country analysis
in a standard format, emphasizing themes rather than dry factual material.
More introductory, not as analytical as Wilson, but with broader coverage.
From a team of country specialists.
Kesselman, Mark, Joel Krieger, et al.
Politics. A more critical and theoretical approach to European
politics, from an American team at Columbia University and Wellesley College.
Wiarda, Howard J. 1993. Introduction
to Comparative Politics: Concepts and Processes. Belmont CA: Wadsworth.
Excellent upper-level introduction to the issues and techniques of comparison.
Some articles may be placed in ring binder
marked Lewis, on AUM library reserve.
Wiarda, Howard J. European Politics
in the Age of Globalization. Harcourt. A more critical and theoretical
approach to European politics, by a leading comparative scholar.