Fall 2016

Building Nation-States, Markets, and Democracy in Europe

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-170


Ruxandra Paul (Section 01)


[IL, SC] This course examines the making of modern politics in Western and Eastern Europe, tracing the development of nation-states, markets, and democratic institutions from the Middle Ages to the European Union. It sheds light on key questions driving contemporary political debates around the world: How are strong states built?  What explains the success or collapse of democracies? When are revolutions successful? Why do some countries transition successfully to capitalism and democracy, while others do not? How can political systems overcome social, ethnic, and religious divisions, and cope with transnational pressures? How can international security be improved? The course provides an introduction to European politics and reveals how the legacies of the past often shape the politics of the present. We cover feudalism, absolutism, revolution, industrialization, democratization, and European integration. Specific topics include state and nation-building, mass democracy, economic development, capitalism and the welfare state, East-West divides, Cold War and post-Cold War political trajectories, the European Union, security, and migration. The course draws on cases from Western Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Paul.

POSC 170 - L/D

Section 01
M 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM CONV 302
W 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM CONV 302

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
European Politics: A Comparative Introduction (3rd edition) Palgrave Macmillan Tim Bale Amherst Books TBD
The Development of the Modern State Stanford University Press Gianfranco Poggi Amherst Books TBD
Understanding the European Union: A Concise Introduction (6th edition) Palgrave Macmillan John McCormick Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018