JSIS A 494
Introduction to research into European topics and to the analysis of problems.
Europe transformed? Perspectives on the politicization of European Union politics
The politics of European integration has been radically changing since the turn of the millennium. The crisis of the Eurozone unfolds, migration into and within Europe is a pressing issue, and the enlargement of the EU is carried forward beyond the currently 28 Member States. As a result, public debates and political contention about the goals and finality of European integration start to take center stage within the member States of the EU.
This move towards a politicization is both a hope for and a potential threat to the project of European integration: On the one hand, increased public debate, citizen engagement and party competition can be a step towards a democratization of EU politics. On the other, a possible result is the rise of populist right wing parties rejecting both the idea of European integration and the openness of European societies, prompting a backlash towards more nationalistic and authoritarian politics.
Against this background, the course addresses three sets of questions: First, what are observable signs and theoretical explanations for the politicization of European affairs? Second, how well is the political system of the EU equipped to deal with political contention, and what are implications for political debates within the Member States? Third, what are perspectives for the future of European integration and the debate about Europe in Member States such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom?
To address these questions, the class will cover both empirical and theoretical texts, and invite students to look at case studies reported in the media. Beyond the typical classwork, the seminar is connected to a public panel discussion on the outcome of the European Parliament elections on 22-25 May, which will take place towards the end of the term. The panel discussion will include renowned experts both from UW and an external speaker and involve active contributions from the participants of this seminar.
Student learning goals
- Knowledge of theoretical perspectives on EU governance and Europeanization
- Problem-oriented case studies relating to current events and debates related to European integration (Eurozone crisis, EU enlargement, EU foreign policy)
- Knowledge of normative debates about the legitimacy of EU governance and concepts for the democratization of the EU
- Comparison between the EU and other international organizations
General method of instruction
- Lectures, including Q & A - Discussion of assigned readings - Presentations by students - Discussion - Work on case studies in break-out groups
- At least basic knowledge of EU institutions and decision-making - Knowledge of international relations literature and theories - Awareness of current events and debates concerning EU governance
Class assignments and grading
- Regular, active, and informed participation (20%) - In-class presentation (20%) - Written exam (30%) - Final term paper (30%)