The future is unknowable, but it can be made intelligible. It raises practical and conceptual problems, as well as reasons for conflict, but also promises to resolve contradictions. This course examines how the future is conceptualised in salient domains of contemporary politics, the implications arising for theory and practice, and the contestable assumptions on which perspectives rely. It investigates the methods by which the future is ordered, anticipated, and factored into the practice of government.
The course begins historically, looking at the future as an emerging theme in eighteenth-century European Enlightenment thought, the socio-cultural developments that prompted this, and some of the key features of its thematisation in the high-modern period. It goes on to examine future-oriented ideas, ideologies and practices as they arise in contemporary settings. The three fields of administration, economy and society are considered in turn. Amongst the areas examined are: the changing time horizons of political institutions; risk analysis and emergency planning; state budgeting; debt and accumulation; demographic forecasting; climate change and sustainability; the contested rights of future generations; and the preservation of cultural heritage. The course should provide students with a cross-disciplinary grasp of how present-day public affairs are shaped by the ways the future is conceived and acted upon.
This page is relevant for all MSc students currently enrolled on the following European Institute Programmes:
LSE-Sciences Po Double Degree in European Studies
MSc EU Politics
MSc European Studies (Research)
MSc Global Europe: Culture and Conflict
MSc Political Economy of Europe
MSc International Migration and Public Policy
This course is available on the MSc in Political Economy of Europe and the MSc in Political Economy of Europe (Double Degree).
This is a non-assessed 'crash course' for students who have no prior or little economics background. It may also serve as a targeted refresher course. We cover the entire material of an Intermediate (undergraduate) Economics course, both micro and macro.
The objectives of this course are three-fold:
1. DESCRIPTIVE: The course understands the European Union as an emerging 'political system', where there as an on-going interaction between the processes of government (the operation of the institutional and legal framework), public policy (the adoption and impact of policy decisions and EU legislation), and politics (the interests, ideas, opinions and values of the political actors - e.g. citizens, businesses, regions, government ministers, bureaucrats, party leaders). Against this background the principal aim of the course is to provide a detailed knowledge of how national and EU institutions interact in European policy making. To achieve this the course is divided into two parts. The first will introduce principal theories of policy making along three core policy dimensions: agenda setting, decision making, policy implementation. In the second part the conceptual insights gained will be used to analyse a number of substantive policy areas. These will typically include: the single market, social and environmental policies, cohesion policies, common agricultural policy, economic and monetary union, immigration and asylum policy, energy and climate change policy, and EU foreign policy.
2.THEORETICAL: To understand policy making in these areas with the help of general theoretical models/explanations developed in political science and other disciplines such as economics. This means an attempt to widen the dominant focus on so-called 'history-making' decisions in the course of the European integration process (often analysed through International Relations theories) and complement it with insights from the theoretical literature on comparative public policy and administration in order to better understand the 'day to day' decision-making processes in the EU. Among other things, these theories help us explain: why the Member States have delegated agenda setting power to the European Commission; why informal 'policy networks' can sometimes be as important as formal decision-making rules; why market integration and regulation have proceeded faster than social and environmental protection; or why business interests are more effectively represented than other interests in Europe.
3.ANALYTICAL: Finally, the course hence also aims to develop a critical/analytical approach to some of the key questions facing Europe's citizens and political leaders today. E.g. How should the EU institutions be designed? Should there be more or less EU social and environmental regulation? Is the governance of EMU effective? Would we be better off without the Common Agricultural Policy? To what extent does the EU speak with one voice in its foreign policy?
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the processes of domestic adjustment - in terms of institutional settings, political behaviour and policy processes - contingent on the participation of member states in the European Union. Thus, the course examines differing conceptualisations and empirical applications of 'Europeanisation' within comparative government, politics and public policy. Europeanisation has become an increasingly important focus in contemporary research, as parallel processes of convergence and divergence are apparent in the integration process and the relevance of distinct domestic settings is highlighted in this regard. With a focus on Europeanisation, the perspective is distinct from, but complementary to, existing courses on regional integration and allows students greater scope to examine patterns of domestic response to shared stimuli. At the same time, the course explores the conceptual and methodological issues that are relevant to 'Europeanisation', so as to facilitate an overall evaluation of scholarship to date.
In this half unit course we will read and discuss texts that draw the history of Europe’s modernity into relation with philosophy.
Starting with Kant’s classic essay ‘Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose’ we will explore the development, elaboration and unravelling of the discourse of European modernity in the work of Hegel, Husserl, Marx and Lenin, Valéry, Berlin, Fukuyama, and Derrida.
Registration "statements" for this course are a merely formal requirement. Please feel free simply to state: "I have read the Course Outline and would like to take this course." No background in philosophy is required or expected.
This course is an introduction to the causes and nature of European integration. The topic is presented from a historical, social scientific and normative perspective: We critically examine various theories of, and current debates about European integration by studying the process of integration, its effects and its constitutional character.
This course engages with the deepest roots and fundamental trajectory of the contemporary European life-world as identified by three major thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida. Taking up and problematising the Levinasian claim that 'Europe is the Bible and the Greeks', the course explores the idea that Europe is a cultural and political movement in deconstruction, a movement which might be summarized by Nietzsche's madman's pronouncement that "God is dead".
Registration "statements" for this course are a merely formal requirement. Please feel free simply to state: "I have read the Course Outline and would like to take this course". No background in philosophy is required or expected.
The course consists of three parts. In the first section we will discuss the basic arguments and methodological considerations of the Varieties of Capitalism literature and conduct a comparative analysis of the core issue areas in the political economy of contemporary capitalism: how capital, labour and product markets are structured. The next section will build on these thematic treatments to discuss the structure of and dynamics in the three main Western European models of capitalism. In the final section we will discuss how these different models react to new challenges as well as the emergence of capitalism in Central Europe. In week 2 of the summer term there will be a review lecture and seminars.
The purpose of this course is to analyse the process of European monetary integration and its implications for the institutions of economic governance in the EU. There will be a strong emphasis on using the experience of the financial and economic crises since 2008 as a source of evidence to assess both the performance of EMU and the theories about monetary integration. We consider the political and economic rationale for the establishment of EMU. We study the theory of optimal currency areas and its relevance today.
This course investigates various ways in which the State’s authority to act – its legitimacy, in brief – has been underpinned in Europe, both ideologically and institutionally, since the end of the Second World War. It looks at how the State has been used to give expression to the democratic principle, and the ways this has been undermined or rejected. The module aims to provide students with a deep analytical understanding of the changing role of the State in European society.
The course seeks to understand the post-communist political economic development of Central Europe in comparative context. The course will establish those areas where the region shares common developmental trends with the EU15 while identifying those issues where the region remains a European 'outlier', exploring whether, in those instances, it carries instructive resemblances to other emerging markets globally.
Europe: Professional Skills seeks to equip you with the relevant tools to engage with Europe and the EU following you degree programme here at the LSE. EU450 will be a key component of your Master's education, introducing common career trajectories that our alumni have pursued and some of the professional skill sets these require. We look forward to a great year ahead!
The European Convention on Human Rights is an international treaty which was drafted shortly after the end of WW II and came into force in 1953. One of its remarkable features is that individuals who think that their human rights have been violated can take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which has the final authority on the interpretation of the Convention. In the past half century, the Strasbourg court has developed a comprehensive jurisprudence on human rights and has become one of the most important and most highly respected human rights courts in the world. This course will offer an introduction to the law of the Convention, in particular by studying and critically analysing the case law on certain important rights. In the final sessions we will take a more theoretical perspective and examine whether there is anything specifically ‘European’ about European human rights law. Topics include: Introduction to the European Convention. Positive and negative obligations and social rights in Europe, the U.S., and South Africa. Proportionality and the margin of appreciation. Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The right to private life and the protection of sexual freedom, especially: homosexual sex, sado-masochistic sex, and incest. The right to freedom of religion and the issue of religious dress and religious symbols in the public sphere. The right to freedom of expression, especially: blasphemous speech, obscene speech and hate speech. The right to freedom of association, the right to vote, and ‘militant democracy’. What is European about European human rights law?