The European Union has an important impact on the life of European citizens. The delegation of ever more policy competences from the national to the European level has turned the European Union into a powerful legislator that regulates a wide variety of policy areas affecting more than 500 million European citizens every day. At the same time as the competences of the European Union as a whole have been extended, the European Parliament as the direct voice of European citizens in Brussels has turned into a true co-legislator on equal footing with the Council. Despite the increasing competences of the European Union more generally and the European Parliament more specifically, citizens remain skeptical of the European Union. Turnout in European Parliament elections has steadily decreased over the years, European citizens have developed an increasingly skeptical attitude towards the EU and anti-European parties have gained momentum. In this seminar, we will therefore study the relationship between the European Union and its citizens. We will analyze the election to the European Parliament in 2019 by studying voting behavior and party competition at the European level. Moreover, we will shed light on attitudes of citizens towards the European Union and discuss the increasing strength of anti-European and populist parties. Finally, we will investigate voting behavior and campaign dynamics in referenda in particular the Brexit referendum. Students will get an insight into theoretical approaches, learn about methodological challenges in the field and will get an overview of latest empirical studies investigating the relationship between the European Union and its citizens. The course will combine theoretical sessions with hands-on empirical lab sessions to prepare students to develop and carry out their own research project during the fall term.
Hobolt, Sara B. and Catherine E. de Vries (2016): Public Support for European Integration, Annual Review of
Political Science, 19: 413-432.
Hobolt, Sara B. (2009): Europe in question: Referendums on European Integration, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Marsh, Michael and Slava Mikhaylov (2010): European Parliament Elections and EU Governance, Living Reviews in European Governance, 5(4): 1-30.
Tiemann, Guido, Oliver Treib and Andreas Wimmel (2011): Die EU und ihre Bürger, Wien: UTB.