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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kathrin Braun
EURO 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Class description

Description European Integration emerged as a response to the horrors of World War II. Drawing the lesson from centuries of divisions, tensions, conflicts and war, European leaders initiated what can now be re¬garded as the most successful experiment of regional integration in the world. With today 25 member states, the common Euro¬pean market, and the Euro the EU is the world’s biggest trading bloc and one of the two largest markets in the world. And, what is more: it is one of the most stable democratic re¬gions in the world. There had not been any war or open conflict between participants in the process of European integration. Still, the EU is often considered an economic giant but a political dwarf. European reac¬tions to the war on Iraq made clear that Europe is far from speaking with one voice. To its citizens, the European Union with its complex institutional structure and its economic bias often appears confusing, opaque and a little dull. Among political leaders as well as among citizens there is no agreement of what the European Union really is and how far European integration should go. Today, according to many scholars, European Integration has arrived at a point where it cannot go on like before. If the EU shall be able to face present and future challenges like euroscepticism, European enlargement, and globali¬za¬¬tion, it must move into the direction of a political union. To generate a more political union however, European citizens and political leaders have to enter a discussion on which Europe they really want. The course explores the different ideas, visions, projects and problems of a political European integra¬tion. It introduces into the history of the European idea, the making of the European Union and its existing institutional structure. It will place particular emphasis on current debates about the political character and future of the EU. We will discuss issues such as whether Turkey should become a mem¬ber state, whether the EU has a democratic deficit, and whether it needs a constitution. Goals: Assuming you have read the material and participated regularly in class you will by the end of this class  have a good knowledge of the history of European integration and the institutions of the Euro¬pean Union  be aware of the current challenges confronting the EU  be able to identify different projects of a political European integration  be able to identify the pros and cons of such projects  have improved your research and writing skills.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

John McCormick: Understanding the European Union. A Concise Introduction, Houndmills, Basingstroke: Palgrave, 2nd 2002.

You are asked to consult one or more of the following newspapers on a regular basis and watch out for recent events in the EU: • Financial Times: (http://news.ft.com) • Le monde diplomatique, English Version: (http://mondediplo.com) • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, English Version: (http://www.faz.com/IN/INtemplates/eFAZ/default.asp) • The Guardian: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/) • The International Herald Tribune (http://www.iht.com/pages/) • European Voice (http://www.european-voice.com/)

For background information you can also use the following links: • Europa (http://www.europa.eu.int) This link will take you directly to the European Union's offi¬cial web site. • (http://www.euractiv.com/) EurActiv.com is an independent media portal which is not run by the EU institutions but fully dedicated to EU affairs. • The European Union in the US (http://www.eurunion.org/) - This link will take you to the EU Commission Delegation in Washington DC.

Class assignments and grading

Grading policy Participation 20% Active participation is an essential element for the success of the class. Active participation includes  general participation in class discussions  contributions to the “event of the week”  input on current development stages of European institutions  contribution to debating sessions. Contributions shall be based on watching at least one of the media mentioned above and using the above mentioned websites for background information.

Mid-term exam 30%, Monday 2/7 In this in-class exam the basic knowledge about European integration acquired during the first half of the course will be tested, using short essay questions based on the question you received earlier in the quarter.

Summary 20%, due on M 2/14 at 11:00 am For the summary (2-4 pages) you pick up one of the articles listed below. You have to find out some basic information about the author, identify exactly the topic of the article, present the main arguments of the article, identify the stance the author takes on it, present your own stance on the issue and the main reasons for it. • Martin Teitelbaum, Is Turkey ready for Europe? • Robert Kagan, Power and Weakness • Andrew Moravcsik, In Defense of the ‘ Democratic Deficit’ • Philippe C. Schmitter, How to democratize the European Union…? Chap. 1 • Jürgen Habermas , Why Europe Needs a Constitution

Final take-home exam 30%, due: March 17 at 5:00 pm This will be an essay of 10-11 pages based on 2-3 questions I will give out on March 9 in class.

Please note that late assignments will NOT be accepted and make-up assignments will NOT be given except in cases of documented emergency or with the express advance permission of the instructor. In the absence of these provisions late or missing assignments will receive a grade of “0”.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kathrin Braun
Date: 01/06/2005