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EU and Political Philosophy


Seminar: Vergleichende Sozialwissenschaften: Einführung

Block Ort: GD 04, Veranstaltungsbeginn: 25.10.2018

In the European Union, nation states are no longer the only relevant units of political power, but have turned from nation states into member states: their law has become more and more entangled with European law. Is the EU the beginning of the end for the nation state? And does the Union mark the departure from a traditional understanding of sovereignty as absolute and indivisible? Are the current political institutions and processes less attached to the idea of one demos and one center of power, or is the EU just a new form of state, a rescaled nation state? This blockseminar is designed to provide an introduction to the EU’s institutional set-up, with emphasis on the ideas that inspired it and the philosophical foundation of these ideas. The class proposes a reflection on “the nature of the beast” and its democratic functioning, connecting current debates with core concepts of political philosophy. The aim of the class is thus twofold: to provide a deeper understanding of the European construction, and to engage students with the work of some of the most influential political philosophers. Through the class, the students will become familiar with important political thinkers that shaped our understanding of state sovereignty, political representation, constitutionalism and the separation of powers, liberty, justice and dignity. We will devote the first half of each session to a discussion on the EU and its institutional framework, and the second half to interpreting the present though the lens of classical political debates.

Literatur: All assigned readings will be provided during the preparatory session on October 25th 2018

Teilnahmevoraussetzung: A good command of English language, both spoken and written, is required for this class.

Hinweise zur Veranstaltung/zum Blockseminar: A preparatory session will be held on October 25th 2018. Its aim is to provide detailed information on the content of the class and to prepare the students for the blockseminar taking place in November. It is therefore of paramount importance that all students attend this preparatory session.

Leistungsnachweise: Students must attend all meetings, including the introductory session. They are expected to study allassigned readings and actively participate in discussion and group-activities in class. In order to receive the 6 ECTS students are required to prepare a final written assignment: a term-paper of 10 to 15 pages.

Termine: Do 25.10.18 11:15 - 12:30 Uhr (GD 04), Do 08.11.18 10 - 13:30 Uhr (GD 311), Fr 09.11.18 10 - 13:30 Uhr (AM 104), Do 15.11.18 10 - 13:30 Uhr (AM 03), Fr 16.11.18 10 - 13:30 Uhr (AM 03), Do 22.11.18 10 - 13:30 Uhr (AM 03), Fr 23.11.18 10 - 13:30 Uhr (AM 104), Do 29.11.18 10 - 13:30 Uhr (GD 04