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EC/PO 235 - In Search of Sustainability: Energy, the Environment, and Society in Central Europe

This course is centered on the concept of sustainability and its various shared implications. Initially, students will be made familiar with the history and the present uses of this concept. In addition the concept of Central Europe, an introduction to the Political System of the European Union and its strategies and policies in the field of sustainability will be provided. Bearing in mind the sustainability perspective, energy, environmental and societal issues and policies in five selected central European countries will be worked on in detail during the term. Due to shared borders, common EU membership and close historical bonds, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia will be examined. Specifically, an introduction to the regional political and economic systems will be given and selected case studies in the energy and environmental fields will be discussed. Equally, the structure of the course aims at putting the different case studies into a comparative perspective. A one-day field trip to the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Waterworks (on the border between Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary) and Bratislava will be organized as part of the course.

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Political Science

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