Europe in Crises: Integration under International and Internal Threat

Course Description: 

For the first time in its history, the European Union finds itself facing Russia, China, and the United States; none of them are particularly friendly. The chilling of the external environment comes at a conjuncture of internal crises: Brexit, anti-EU, nationalist movements in member states, the declining faith of pro-EU elites in the idea of an ‘ever closer union’, and the conflict of creditor and debtor countries in the Eurozone and between the core and periphery. The President of the European Council called these: unprecedented geopolitical and existential threats to the very survival of the EU. The course engages with these ‘four crises’ of Europe: external, internal, ideational, and economic, and with the scholarly controversies about how to interpret them. In the final part, the course will look at whether “Europe will be forged in crises”, as one of the ‘founding fathers’, Jean Monnet predicted, and will consider recent proposals about how to reshape the EU, and what these possible responses may mean for the global order. The course is designed as a mix of interactive lectures and seminar discussion based on the required readings; it will engage with a wide-variety of IR, IPE, and regionalism concepts and will also make use of contemporary sources (articles, speeches, etc.) to link scholarly approaches to interpreting current affairs.

Learning Outcomes: 

 Through engagement with current issues and related scholarly debates students will gain a better understanding of the diverse approaches to the study of the European Union, as well as the complexity of processes shaping Europe today. By the end of the course students will be able to:

 1)    develop a critical understanding of the crises that challenge the EU and post-war structures in Europe

2)    identify and critically assess different approaches to the study of European integration

to situate European political and economic developments in a global context as well as draw lessons for the future 

Assessment: 
  1. Attendance and active participation in class discussions based on the readings (15 % of final grade). Attendance rules of the department apply. (No electronic devices may be used in class.)
  2. One 1500-word (excluding footnotes and bibliography) position paper (double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-points,), based on the required readings. (20% of final grade). (In case two presentations are required because of class size, the position paper’s topic can be the same as one of the presentations.) Going beyond a simple summary, students are required to compare two or more views found in the readings, raise a puzzling question, or elaborate and critically comment on an interesting aspect. (Further details are to be discussed in class) Submission deadline: 10 February. Submit via moodle. Late submission will result in downgrading. Consulting with the Academic Writing Unit is strongly advised.
  3. Depending on the class size, one or two, 15-minute long,in-class presentation(s) (20% of final grade) based on the readings for the day. The presentation(s) should follow a similar structure to the position paper: going beyond a simple summary, students are required to compare two or more views found in the readings, and other academic literature, raise a puzzling question, or elaborate and critically comment on an interesting aspect. Sign up on the sign-up sheet after the first class.  
  4. One3500-4000-word long (excluding footnotes and bibliography, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-points) research paper (45% of final grade). Topics are to be discussed with the instructor but in general, should relate to any of the topics covered in this course. Submission deadline: 14 April. Submit via moodle. Late submission will result in downgrading. Consulting with the Academic Writing Unit is strongly advised.
Prerequisites: 

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