European Studies: European Political Cultures


Admission requirements

General entry requirement (with the exemption of Swedish language), and specific entry requirement of English B from Swedish upper secondary school (Field specific entry requirements A6/6), or equivalent + a minimum of 30 credits in social sciences or humanities


Syllabus for students autumn 2019, autumn 2018

Course Code:
ES130L revision 3
Swedish name:
Europastudier: Europeiska politiska kulturer
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
European Studies
Date of ratification:
18 May 2017
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
18 May 2017
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
18 May 2017

Entry requirements

General entry requirement (with the exemption of Swedish language), and specific entry requirement of English B from Swedish upper secondary school (Field specific entry requirements A6/6), or equivalent + a minimum of 30 credits in social sciences or humanities

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main field of study European studies at the 31-60 credit level and meets the degree requirements for the degree of Bachelor, main field of study European Studies.


The main aim with this course is to broaden and deepen the knowledge and understanding of how the interaction between politics, aesthetics, cultural expressions and use of history have shaped 20th century Europe, and how its imprints are visible in contemporary times. A second aim is to develop the student’s ability to use concepts, theories and different source material to encircle important problem fields and issues connected to the main field of European studies.


The main focus in this course will be use of history, aesthetics, and cultural expressions as politically mobilising forces. Developments in different parts of 20th century Europe and certain other historical contexts are used as the basis for discussion of questions about how democracy, fascism, communism, populism and other political programmes and movements have affected, and been affected and challenged by, aesthetical values as well as use and mobilisation of the past. During the course, questions concerning nationalism, centre and periphery, and relations between politics, social movements and other societal processes, will also be of importance. The course contains elements of picture analysis and semiotics.
The course is divided into a number of sub-parts, each with its own examination.

  • Part 1: Concept building, 2 credits, where the central concepts of the course will be studied and examined in a sit-in exam.
  • Part 2: Breaking points and trauma in 20th century Europe – politics of memory, history culture and use of history, 4 credits. Here, concepts related to historical culture and uses of history are studied and tested on different kinds of source material and contexts. Part 2 is examined in a portfolio, containing an individual essay writing process and seminars.
  • Part 3: Politics, culture and aesthetics in 20th century Europe, 6 credits, where a number of aspects related to Europe in the 20th century are studied and discussed through literature, art and film. This part is examined as a portfolio, containing seminar group assignments and an individual essay where a European novel is analysed applying the main course themes and concepts.
  • Part 4: Poster presentation, 3 credits. In this part the students work in smaller groups to produce suggestions for a problem field that may serve as the basis for more concrete problem formulations to be used in the upcoming essay-work in the program. The result is presented at a seminar day, with poster exhibitions, feedback and seminar discussions.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, the student shall:

  1. Show basic knowledge about the development of the concept political culture, different scientific definitions and its use in studies of European politics during the 20th century:
  2. Show basic knowledge about nationalism as practise and analytical category during the 20th century;
  3. Show basic knowledge about the relation between politics and aesthetics;
  4. Show basic knowledge about concepts and theories linked to picture and film analysis;
  5. With help from the basic knowledge about the concepts memory politics, history culture and use of history, study and reflect upon central political, social and cultural breaking points and trauma in 20th century Europe;
  6. Show ability to analyse different kinds of text and picture material;
  7. Show ability to identify and realise the relations between political, ideological and aesthetical expressions;
  8. Together with other students in groups, show the ability to develop and present problem fields and preliminary problem formulations relevant for European studies;
  9. Show understanding for the multidisciplinary and international character of the course;
  10. Realise the need for further knowledge and deepened studies in the main field of study.

Learning activities

Individual and Group assignments/Portfolio
Individual studies


Part 1, 2 credits: Sit-in exam. (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 4).
Part 2, 4 credits: Portfolio containing an individual essay writing process and group seminars (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 5, 9, 10).
Part 3, 6 credits: Portfolio containing seminar assignments and an individual essay (Learning outcomes 3, 4, 6, 7, 10).
Part 4, 3 credits: Group assignment, examined via the development, production and presentation of a problem field and a preliminary problem formulation relevant for European studies (Learning outcomes 8, 9, 10).

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Anderson, Benedict (2006), Imagined Communities, London. Selected chapters
  • Benjamin, Walter, Art in the age of reproduction, [electronic resource];
  • Booth, Wayne, Gregory Colomb and Joseph Williams (2008 – 3rd edn.), The Craft of Research, Chicago, third edition (e-book and core book for writing processes in the whole program)
  • Green, Martin (1986), Mountain of Truth, University Press of New England; Selected chapters
  • Karlsson, Klas-Göran & Ulf Zander (Eds.) (2003) Echoes of the Holocaust – Historical Cultures in Contemporary Europe, Nordic Academic Press. Selected chapters.
  • Kracauer, Siegfried, “The Hotel Lobby”, in Neil Leach (ed.) Rethinking Architecture, Routledge 1999, p.52-59;
  • Levine, Caroline (2007), Provoking Democracy, Blackwell;
  • Müller, Jan-Werner (ed.) (2002) Memory and Power in Post-War Europe – Studies in the presence of the past, Cambridge University Press (e-book)
  • Short introduction to Poster Presentations from Leicester University,
  • Zimmer, Oliver (2003), Nationalism in Europe, 1890-1940, Palgrave [also available as electronic resource].
  • Plus additional readings, no more than 600 pages.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course ceases to be available or has undergone any major changes, the students are to be offered two opportunities to retake the examination during the year following the change for re-examination, based on the syllabus which applied at registration.

Other Information

The Language of Instruction is English.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

GPSstudent - Malmö universitet,
Cecilia Hansson, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657165


30 August 2021 - 07 November 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö Application period for this offer starts 15 March 2021.

29 August 2022 - 06 November 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö