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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sabine Lang
JSIS 495
Seattle Campus

Task Force

Small-group seminars address current problems in international affairs, each focusing on one specific policy question and producing a joint task force report. Restricted to senior majors in International Studies. Prerequisite: JSIS 200; JSIS 201; JSIS 202.

Class description

One of the most pressing questions in the current Euro crisis is how much solidarity Europeans are willing to show and to what degree they are rooted in their identity as Europeans. Therefore, the ‘making’ of European citizens remains a central challenge for European integration. Early warning signs pointing to a lack of European identity were low turnouts for European Parliamentary elections and the failure of the Constitutional Process. In the current crisis, strong re-nationalization of public opinion and decision making fuels the perception of a deep-seated legitimacy deficit of the Brussels-based polity. Recently, the EU has tried to address this deficit with attempts to strengthen the European Parliament, to create a more powerful EU executive, to formalize organized civil society input, and to engage citizens more in EU affairs. But it seems as though too little has been done too late. Our Task Force will assess the current legitimacy deficit by identifying several areas in which this democratic challenge is obvious. We will then proceed to draft fact-based policy recommendations that could strengthen European citizenship.

Student learning goals

The 15-member Task Force will research legitimacy issues in the EU using a variety of resources from state and nonstate actors. Students will collectively draft a set of policy recommendations. and present their findings in a written report which is subjected to an oral evaluation by an experienced EU policy actor.

General method of instruction

The goal of TF is to encourage independent and collaborative learning with guidance from the instructor.

Recommended preparation

Preparatory reading will be assigned in order to familiarize students with EU matters.

Class assignments and grading

Collaborative TF report and oral presentation.


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 Loryn Rhea Paxton
Date: 10/10/2012