Course Abstract and Bio - North Carolina State University

PS 542 – Western European Politics
Course Description
Analysis of political institutions and processes in selected Western European states and the
European community and of major social, economic and political issues confronting European
Course Aims & Design
This course has three primary goals. The first is to provide you with a solid foundational
knowledge of the structures and functioning of governments in Western and Eastern Europe,
including the advantages and disadvantages of each. The second is to introduce you to important
bodies of work within comparative politics and how they apply in the European context, such as
nationalist violence, democratization, and social movements. Finally, the course is designed to
encourage you to think about what the European experience in those areas can teach us about
politics in other places. What lessons can we draw that help us understand the rest of the world?
There are three basic sections to the class. One section paints a broad picture and establishes the
broad context within which politics occurs in Europe. A second looks specifically at a handful
of important states with Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Poland.
Finally, the third section looks at the world of the European Union. The EU strongly impacts
domestic politics of its members, so to understand local politics in Europe, one must have a
working knowledge of the EU.
Mark T. Nance (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an Assistant Professor in the School
of Public and International Affairs at North Carolina State University, where he teaches
primarily International Political Economy and European politics. His research focuses on the
impact of non-binding international institutions, particularly in international economic
cooperation. He currently is working on projects regarding the development of the international
anti-money laundering regime and international efforts to prevent illicit nuclear proliferation.
Past projects and publications have focused on new governance mechanisms in the context of the
European Union’s economic and social policies, as well as in international security policy.
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