ES 102/ 102.1 – European Government Systems - Gorkem Atsungur

ES 102/ 102.1 – European Government Systems - Gorkem Atsungur

January 17, 2014


                                                         AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ASIA


Spring 2014                                                

   ES 102 (ES 102.1) – European Government Systems

                                                                                 Course ID: 2365 (3024)

                         Course Schedule: Tuesday 09.25-10.40 R216 & Thursday 09.25-10.40 R216


Assistant Professor Görkem Atsungur

Office: #214– European Studies Department.

Office Hours: Monday: 14.00-16.00




* European Studies Elective Course

Number of Credits: 3cr.

Course Description:

   This course is designed to introduce students to major ideas underpinning the comparative analysis of governmental systems in Europe. The readings of the course are pre-dominantly thematic discussions. There are four major sections to the course (1) An introduction to basic concepts in Political Science; (2) Thematic Discussions such as the executive, legislative, constitutions, political parties, elections, etc… (3) Case studies from European countries and (4) The European Union level. At this course, students are expected to develop a familiarity with the politics of European countries, to understand important topics in the comparative study of politics, and be able to analyse some of the political developments in different European countries and the EU at the supranational level.

Course Aim and Objectives:

  In this course, students will engage in a broader comparison of government in different types of political regimes in the European continent.

   By the end of this class, students should be able to:

1. To introduce students to the field of comparative European politics, and to some of its conceptual and explanatory tools; 

2. To demonstrate the ability to locate and gather information in comparative European politics;

3. To acquaint students with some basic methodological problems, concepts, theories, issues in the study of European governmental systems.

4. To develop the ability and knowledge for comparing different forms of European governmental systems.

5. To apply the analytic skills to explain political phenomena in a given country or countries.

6. To describe and explain the basic characteristics of and difference between unitary and federal states in Europe (levels of governance); parliamentary and presidential systems (the executive); unicameral and bicameral parliaments in Europe (the legislative); majoritarian and consensus governments; political parties and party systems; elections and electoral systems; constitutions and judicial reviews and common law-civil law systems in Europe.

7. To explain also unelected components of government such as bureaucracy, military, interest groups. 

8. To be familiar with the European Union Institutions and their functions.

9. To analyse and criticise current challenges in European Politics.




A. Teaching Methods:

   The course objectives will be achieved through instructional model such as lecturing and also experiential (concept formation, independent research and etc...) and co-operative (role play, simulation and etc...) methods. Professor would also use PowerPoint presentations for the lecture part.

B. Reading Materials:

   Instructor prepares required materials for students. Necessary course materials, including the course Syllabus, can be found on the course website in the e-course in European Studies/ spring 2014.

   Reading materials are available as an ‘’ES 102 Course Booklet’’ at the ES Department office at #214. Students should also check e-course materials so often.

   Each student has to read required readings which are indicated for each section before the class and students should come ready to present, argue and discuss them. All reading materials, including term paper and presentation are the main responsibility of the student in order to pass this course.


C. Special Needs:

   Students with special needs may require special arrangements relating to attending class sessions, carrying out writing term project or taking examinations. They are strongly encouraged to inform the Instructor during the first week of classes.


D. Classroom Rules of Conduct:

   Please respect university discipline rules and turn off cell phones and pagers during class. Students should keep quiet and not be late for the class. Students cannot use social networks Facebook, VK, and Twitter etc. during the class. If the instructor realizes that a student uses any of these networks during the class, he has right to ask a student to leave the classroom. Food and beverages are not permitted in the classroom. During the exams, the use of cell phones, pagers, PDAs, or any other electronic devices is strictly prohibited. Unmoral/Rude behaviours to other students, staffs and/or the instructor will not be tolerated.


E. Academic Honesty and Discipline:

   Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated at AUCA. All assignments, term papers, and exams must be done by on your own. If student is found to engage in cheating, plagiarism, inventing false information or citations, helping someone else or any other violation of the ‘’Code of Academic Integrity’’, s/he should expect the severest penalties available under AUCA policies.

- According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary; Plagiarize means: “to steal and pass of (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own, to use (another’s production) without crediting the source, to commit literary theft and to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.” As a result of these, Plagiarism is an act of fraud.

   Students found guilty of academic dishonesty will be assigned an appropriate academic penalty.

   For more information, please visit:

   If a student has any concerns about how to write an academic article, s/he can feel free to consult the instructor at any time and/or during the office hours. If the Student plagiarizes, s/he will definitely receive F grade for the course



  1. A.    Attendance & Participation – 20%

      The nature of the subject requires active class participation. In order to participate in class discussions effectively, each student is expected to have read all assigned readings listed in the schedule. All students should NOT hesitate to participate when they want to expand the topic or they need further explanation, etc. If student five times absent without medical certification, s/he will automatically be failed in this course. Active and meaningful participation will add 20% to the final grade.


B. Assignments – 20%

   Each student will write five short assignments relating with the questions in the assignment. Late submission will not be accepted, therefore, every student must bring their assignments on the due date and the instructor will collect them during the class. Each assignment will be counted as 4%. Each assignment will be e-course two weeks before the deadline. There is no page limitation. It can be one page or ten pages but students must answer all questions fairly.


C. Midterm Exam – 10%     06th March 2014 Thursday 09:25

   Each Student must take a Mid-Term exam for this course on 6th March 2014 Thursday at 09:25. There will be twenty multiple choice questions on the exam.

D. Term Paper and Presentation – 30%       29th April 2014 – Tuesday

   Each Student is required to write to one descriptive research paper for this course. The aim of this paper is to help students to improve their writing and research ability.

   Students should pick up two countries out of the same group and compare their political systems in a comparative method. Paper should include basic characteristics of political systems such as power structure, power source, types of government, etc...

Topics for Research Paper:

1.) Balkan Countries: Former Yugoslavia or Albania.

2.) South-Eastern Europe: Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey.

3.) Small Island States: Cyprus, Malta, Iceland.

4.) Former Soviet Republics: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine.

5.) Ministates: Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, Vatican.

6.) Central Europe: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary.

   Evaluation of the paper will be based on:

   Structure of the paper will be evaluated as 5%of the total paper grade (title/abstract/keywords/introduction/methods/results/discussion/acknowledgmenets/literature cited/appendices).

   Format of the paper will be evaluated as 5%of the total paper grade. Paper should be between 3.000-4.500 words (6-9 Pages) in length with Times New Roman, 12 font and Double spaces. Students are encouraged to use MLA style.

   Content of the paper which reflects ability of writing and thinking skills will be count as 15%.  

   Bibliography will be counted 3%. There should be more than 5-7 resources at least.

   Language style will be counted 2% of the final paper grade. Student should also pay attention on vocabulary and grammar style.

   As a result of these, Term Paper will add 30% to the final grade.

   The due date for term paper is indicated in the daily schedule of the course syllabus (29th April 2014 Tuesday). No late papers will be accepted! Also, the students must send their term papers by email to Instructor’s email ( at the same day. If the student will not send term paper by email, s/he will receive F grade for the term paper.


E. Final Exam Test – 20%      08th May 2014 Thursday

   Each Student must take a final test (20%) for this course. The final test will be given after the entire course is completed. It will be lasted 75 minutes.

   Make-up examinations will NOT be administered except in the case of a medical emergency.


Grading Policy:

  The grade for the course will be comprised of the following percentages:

Attendance and Participation: 20%

Assignments: 20%

Mid-Term Exam: 10%

Term Paper and Presentation: 30%

Final Exam:  20%


Quality Points


Grade Percentages




Above 93%




89.51% - 92.49%




85.51% - 89.49%




82.51% - 85.49%




79.51% - 82.49%




75.51% - 79.49%




72.51% - 75.49%




69.51% - 72.49%




65.51% - 69.49%




62.51% - 65.49%




59.51% - 62.51%




Less than 59.49 %



*Note: These grades are used for all courses of European Studies Department at AUCA.



‘’P’’ Grade: ‘’Conditional Passing may be given for 90-100% of total grade.


‘’I’’ Grade: ‘’Incomplete’’ is given, If the student has been performing well throughout the semester but due to serious reason was not able to finish final assignment before the end of the semester. The Student must report the reason to the Department and the Register’s Office. After the assignment is completed, ‘’I’’ grade is replaced by the final grade.


‘’W’’ Grade: If the Student refuse to continue to study this course, this grade can be given by the Instructor. The Student signs the form designed by the Register’s Office and should repeat this course if it is a required course in the department.


‘’AU’’ Grade: ‘’Course Audit’’ is given if the Student may choose this course for audit and receive AU in case to be present for 75% of the classes.




Week I. Introduction

14.01.2014– Syllabus

16.01.2014 - Introduction to the Course



 Week II. Comparative Politics: Themes and Approaches  

21.01.2014 – Comparative Study of Politics.     

23.01.2014 – The Setting of Politics: Societies, Nations and States.   

Readings: Total 22 Pages.

- Lowell Barrington, ‘’Comparative Politics: Structures & Choices’’, International Edition, 2010 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Pages: 1-22.




Week III.  Levels of Governance: Territorial Organization of Power: Unitary and Federal States in Europe

28.01.2014 – Levels of Governance.

30.01.2014 – Levels of Governance.

Readings: Total 21 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 164- 185.


Week IV. The Executive (Presidential and Parliamentary Government): Head of States in Europe: President and Monarch

04.02.2014 – The Executive.

06.02.2014 – The Executive.

Readings: Total 31 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 24-55.


Week V. The Legislative: Unicameral and Bicameral Parliaments: Majoritarian and Consensus Governments

11.02.2014 – The Legislative.

13.02.2014 – The Legislative.

Readings: Total 25 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 57-82.

*Assignment I: Political Structures (Due Date: 13.02.2013 Thursday)


Week VI. The Executive and the Legislative

18.02.2014– Review of the Executive and Legislative I.

20.02.2014 - Review of the Executive and Legislative II.


Week VII. Patterns in Party Politics and Party Systems in Europe

25.02.2014– Party Politics in Europe I.

27.02.2014– Party Politics in Europe II.  

Readings: Total 34 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 187- 221.


Week VIII. Party Families in Europe

04.03.2014 – Party Families in Europe I

06.03.2014 Party Families in Europe II

Readings: Total 30 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 230 – 260.

*Assignment II: Political Parties (Due Date: 06.03.2014 Thursday)


Week IX.  No Classes: 10.03.2014 – 14.03.2014


Week X. Elections and Electoral Systems in Europe

18.03.2014 – Elections and Electoral Systems in Europe I.

20.03.2014 – Elections and Electoral Systems in Europe II.

Readings: Total 33 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 340- 377.

Week XI. The Judiciary: Constitutions, Judges, and Politics: Rule of the Game in Europe

25.03.2014 – The Constitutions in Europe.

27.03.2014 – The Judicial Reviews in Europe.

Readings: Total 24 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 86-111.

*Assignment III: Elections and Constitutions (Due Date: 27.03.2014 Thursday)




Week XII. Comparative European Politics I

01.04.2014 – France vs. The United Kingdom

03.04.2014 – Germany, Austria and Switzerland


Week XIII. Comparative European Politics II

08.04.2014 – Scandinavian Politics: Norway, Sweden, Finland. 

10.04.2014 Southern Europe: Spain and Portugal

*Assignment IV: Summaries of the Case Studies (Due Date: 10.04.2014 Thursday)


D. The European Union


Week XIV. The European Union and Representative Government

15.04.2014 – What Does the EU Do?

17.04.2014 – The EU: Intergovernmental or Supranational Organization?

Readings: Total 14 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 136- 150.

Week XV. The European Union’s Institutions

22.04.2014 – The European Union’s Institutions I

24.04.2014 – The European Union’s Institutions II

Readings: Total 16 Pages.

- Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair, “Representative Government in Modern Europe”, McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2006, Pages: 115- 136.


*Assignment V: The European Union (Due Date: 24.04.2013 Thursday)


Week XVI. Term Paper Presentations     29th April 2014 – Tuesday

29.04.2014 – Term Paper Presentations I

01.05.2014 - Term Paper Presentations II


  • Note: the Instructor reserves the right to make any changes in the content of topics. It is one of the main responsibilities of the students to attend the class and be informed about any changes.


 Abbreviations and Acronyms


Benelux – Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

CAP - Common Agricultural Policy.

CEE – Central Eastern Europe.

CET – Common External Tariffs.


CC - Candidate Country.


CFP – Common Fisheries Policy.


CFSP – Common Foreign Security Policy.


CJEU – Court of Justice of the European Union.


CoR – Committee of the Regions and Local Authorities.

COREPER - Committee of Permanent Representatives.

CSCE – Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

EAEC - European Atomic Energy Community=EURATOM.

EAFRD – European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

EC – European Community.

ECB – European Central Bank.

ECJ – European Court of Justice.

ECOSOC - Economic and Social Committee of the EC.

ECSC - European Coal and Steel Community.

ECU - European Currency Unit.

EDF - European Development Fund.

EEA – European Economic Area or European Environment Agency.

EEC - European Economic Community.

EESC – European Economic and Social Committee.

EFTA - European Free Trade Association.

EIB - European Investment Bank.

EMF – European Monetary Fund.

EMS - European Monetary System.

EMU – Economic and Monetary Union.

ENP – European Neighbourhood Policy.

EP - European Parliament.

ERASMUS - European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students

ERDF - European Regional Development Fund.

ESDP – European Security and Defense Policy.

ESF - European Social Fund

EU – European Union.

Eurojust- Europeans judicial co-operation unit.

Europol – European Police Office.

EUROSTAT - Community's Statistical Office.

GDP – Gross Domestic Products.

IGC – Intergovernmental Conference.

IMF – Internatioanal Monetary Fund.

IPE – International Political Economy.

IR – International Relations.

JHA – Justice and Home Affairs.

MEP - Member of the European Parliament.

MFN – Most Favoured Nation.

NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

NGOs – Non-Governmental Organizations

NTB – Non-tarrif barriers.

OECD - Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

OEEC – Organisation for European Economic Cooperation.

PR – Proportional Representation.

QMV – Qualified Majority Voting.

SEA – Single European Act.

SEM – Single European Market.

TEU – Treaty on European Union.

UN – United Nations.

WEU - Western European Union.








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