European political economy

leusl2031  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

European political economy
5.00 credits
30.0 h
An introductory course in economics.
Main themes
This political economy course focuses on the co-construction of the European political and economic spheres since the 1950's. The first section of the course analyses the background of European Economic integration, the build-up of the Single market and the creation of the single currency. The second section zooms in on the Eurozone macro-economic coordination, e.g. the integration of monetary, fiscal, budgetary and financial policies from 1999 to 2010. The third section introduces the EU sectorial economic policies, including the Common Agricultural policy, the competition policy, regional policies and international trade policies. The fourth section tackles the EU crises and future challenges: the Eurozone crisis, the ecological transition and the Brexit.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The course aims at providing the student with the basic knowledge needed to understand the operation and challenges of the main economic policies at work in the EU.
This course in political economy analyses the co-construction of the political and economic spheres in the European Union from the 1950s to the present day. The class is planned to be face to face but it might move online depending on the evolution of sanitary conditions and the number of enrolled students. In this case, the form of exams might also evolve.
The first part of the course is made of lectures given by Professor Clément Fontan. The lectures go back over the foundations of European economic integration, the history of economic ideas, the construction of the Single Market, the adoption of the euro, the first ten years of governance of the Economic and Monetary Union, the 2010-2015 crisis of the eurozone and the reforms linked to it. These lectures are preceded by short student presentations on topical issues related to the class.
The second part of the course, of the "reverse class" type, aims to put the knowledge acquired into practice and debate. The topics covered touch on present and future issues of the European economy. The students will analyze and present the current debates on the links between finance and democracy, digital economy and welfare states, trade policy and free trade treaties and the change of economic paradigm in a time of climate catastrophe. Depending on their availability, practitioners will intervene to complete the debates and the teacher will recall the fundamental notions related to the topics at the end of each course.
Teaching methods
Learning outcomes :
At the end of the class, the students will be able:
- To characterize the main European economic systems.
- To identify the different logics of European economic integration.
- To handle the theoretical tools and political economy concepts in order to analyse economic developments in Europe.
- To structure an oral and written presentation by problematizing and debating issues of political economy
- To form a critical opinion on the selection of media sources and the public presentation of economic issues.
Evaluation methods
The evaluation will be performed through collective oral exercises described in the section content and a final individual written exam. In case of a switch to online teaching, the oral presentations of the students will take place on Teams and the final invidivual exam will be online on Moodle.
No book purchase is needed. Aucun besoin d'acheter un ouvrage en lien avec ce cours. Compulsory reading will be online. Les lectures obligatoires seront accessibles en ligne.
Short bibliography (in French & in English)
Defraigne, J. C., & Nouveau, P. (2017). Introduction à l'économie européenne. De Boeck Superieur. (le plus proche du cours).
Michel Dévoluy (2004), Les Politiques économiques européennes : Enjeux et défis, éditions du Seuil, (pour approfondir certains points du cours)
Colin Hay, Andy Smith (2018) Dictionnaire d'économie politique, Presses de sciences-po (pour développer certains concepts)
Hans-Jurgen Bieling (2015), The Political Economy of the European Union (Exploring Europe's Future), Open Society eds, (presentation de l’économie politique)
Baldwin, R. E., Wyplosz, C (2006). The economics of European integration (Vol. 2). Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education.. (micro-économie)
Talani, L. S. (2004). European Political Economy: Political Science Perspectives. Ashgate.
OFCE (2018), L’économie européenne. La Découverte, « Repères », (bon panorama empirique/actualisation
Ouvrages :
Dyson, Kenneth HF, and Kevin Featherstone. The road to Maastricht: Negotiating economic and monetary union. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Jabko, Nicolas. Playing the market: A political strategy for uniting Europe, 1985–2005. Cornell University Press, 2006.
Roos Jéromé, Why not default?, Princeton University Press, 2019
Schäfer, Armin, and Wolfgang Streeck. Politics in the Age of Austerity. Polity Press, 2013.
Tooze, Adam, Crashed, Penguin, 2018
Rodrik, D. (2017). Peut-on faire confiance aux économistes?: réussites et échecs de la science économique. De Boeck supérieur. In English (2015)= economics rules: the rights and wrongs of the dismal science
Shaxton Nicolas, The finance curse, Verso, 2018
  Ressources bibliographiques à consulter régulièrement :
Introduction à l’économie
Schemes, Graphs, data :;;
Free online handbook
Newspapers: Financial Times, Mediapart, The Guardian, The Economist, Alternatives Economiques
Academic journals: Politique Européenne, Gouvernement et Action Publique, La revue de la régulation, La revue française de socio-économie, Competition & Change, New Political Economy, Review of International Political Economy, Cambridge Journal of Economics, LSE policy briefs, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, International Organization
Outils de recherche :, google scholar.
Movies & docs: “Inside Job”; “Margin call”; “The big short”; “Enron: the smartest guys in the room”; “Capitalisme: la série” “Puissante et incontrôlée la Troika”, “The price we pay”, Wall Street vs Cleveland
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Political Sciences: International Relations

Master [120] in Translation

Master [120] in Sociology

Master [120] in European Studies

Master [120] in Public Administration