Political Science | West European Politics
Y335 | 3299 | Hoffman


	This course will be a comparative overview of the political systems
in Western Europe since 1945.  Although the postwar period will be the
primary focus for the course, the approach will be historical and
comparative, and attention will be given to such transforming events as the
French revolution, the post World War I "Versailles" period, the Yalta
settlement, Marshall Plan, etc.  We will individually cover the four
European members of the G-7 group of nations, Great Britain, France, Germany
and Italy.  Unlike many survey courses on Western Europe, we will also cover
Spain, long viewed as being a "peripheral" European nation, in the context
of the Spanish transition to democracy.  We will examine political parties
and the nature of politics in multiparty legislative systems.  Political
structures, social issues and political responses will be contrasted within
the Continental context and against the Anglo-Saxon systems in Britain as
well as here at home.
	The 1990's have been a turbulent decade of fundamental social,
cultural, and political change in Europe.  Particular emphasis will be
placed on this post Cold War period.  In addition to our study of interest
groups, political culture, decolonization, and new social movements such as
environmental groups, we will study immigration and the responses to it, the
issues surrounding European integration such as the common currency and
border policy, EU expansion to include some of the European nation-states to
the east, etc.  Nationalism and regionalism, such as devolution to Scotland
and Wales in Britain, will also be covered, especially in the current events
readings and discussions.
	Readings will be taken from a textbook on European politics,
academic journals, as well as British and French current events media.
Applying the theoretical and substantive material to day-to-day politics
(elections, strikes, governmental responses to social issues) should help
students learn the material.  Students wishing to get a head start on the
material can contact me for a preliminary syllabus in November (email:
cmhoffma).  The French news on SCOLA and the European and Britain section of
The Economist will be required reading during the course.