PO 350 - EU Studies Integrative Seminar
On three levels of previous knowledge and competence, the European Union Integrative Seminar adopts an innovative and comprehensive approach to understanding Europe and the European Union. The course is based on three methodologically distinct but complementary as well as interrelated elements of knowledge-building. In the classroom, the tension between cultural diversity and the aspiration to political unity that characterizes the European Union is examined. Students will learn about the historical, politico-cultural and economic context of European integration.
The case studies and exemplifications of European unity and division vary between the levels according to previous knowledge here. In a next step, students will be introduced to the complex institutional architecture and decision-making procedures of the EU. Finally, students will analyze the dynamics of policy-making in the EU and focus on the main challenges of European integration. The second constitutive part of the seminar confronts students with the deepening experience of exposure to Europe on the ground: to the cities and populations that constitute the European continent. They will travel to a range of destinations, each with their own level of development, unique problems and opportunities. These places embody the cultural and ideological cleavages as well as existential challenges confronting the peoples of the continent.
Students will have the opportunity to listen to and to interact with diplomats, EU officials, journalists as well as representatives of other IOs and NGOs. The third element "Debating Europe" constitutes a return to the discussion over Europe and the European Union. Incorporation of debate in education has been shown to develop critical thinking, to improve argumentation skills and to raise cultural awareness. Enriched from their experiences, students will be able to deliberate on the major issues confronting European citizens. This includes both discussion in an informal setting, role playing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), lobby games in a European Union context and, finally, a full Model EU Council Simulation where students assume the roles of Heads of State, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Ministers of Finance, legislating upon and negotiating the directions the European Union will take. This course level addresses students with basic previous knowledge in at least one of the major areas of history, economics, politics or sociology. Building on this foundation, students in this level of the course will acquire more in-depth knowledge to analyze and contextualize the complex structure of the EU, its origins as peace project after the Second World War, its crises and challenges and its future prospect in a changing world order.
NOTE: This course is offered during the regular semester and in the summer. For summer sections, the course schedule is condensed, but the content, learning outcomes, and contact hours are the same.