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IFCO 2395 - Comparing European Societies: together or apart?

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

In 2016, mounting anti-EU sentiments in Europe culminated in the Brexit vote. Differences between European countries, rather than being regarded as signs of cultural and economic richness, were increasingly outlined as latent contradictions of the EU integration project. How large are such differences? And what about commonalities? This course aims at surveying national societies in Europe, assuming (but also discussing) the persistent centrality of the nation state as key template of social life. Building on the macro-micro dialectics, the course unfolds as an encounter with ‘structures' and patterns of individual ‘agency' across European societies. With a comparative approach, the course draws on empirical research on the characteristics and behaviours of institutions and actors. Trajectories of convergence, divergence and hybridization are illustrated as forming a complex texture that ultimately defines the uniqueness of ‘Europe' in the contemporary world.


RECCHI, Ettore (Professor at Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

Lecture with discussion of readings

Course validation

Students shall be evaluated on the basis of a 2 hours mid-term test (33% of the total grade) and a 2 hours final exam (66% of the total grade). A half-point bonus could be added to the final grade on the basis of class participation. Both the mid-term and final tests consist of two short essays and multiple choice questions.


Students are expected to read and be ready to discuss one-two papers per week (approximately 20/30 pages).

Required reading

  • Mau, S. and Verwiebe, R. (2010). European Societies. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Immerfall, S. and Therborn, G. (2010) (eds) Handbook of European Societies. New York: Springer.
  • Recchi, E. (2015). Mobile Europe: The Theory and Practice of Free Movement in the EU. Basingstoke: Palgrave.