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Introduction to European Politics: Principles, Practices and the Crisis of Liberalism

3/6/9 ECTS


Donnerstag, 14-tägig, 11.15-14.30 Uhr, Room: AM 104, Course Start: 14.04.2016

The class discusses pertinent aspects of the European institutional order, its policies, and the recent crisis. It follows the broad idea of juxtaposing the EU’s normative principles with its political practices and explains the recent crisis of the EU as the logical outcome of its failure to deliver on its promises. The class is structured in three parts. The first part introduces crucial principles of the EU such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The second part focuses on several policies of the EU (market-making, migration, foreign affairs and social policy). It will be discussed in how far the EU’s policies live up to its normative principles. The final part deals with the current crisis of the EU and offers an explanation for its occurrence.

The class is organized as a combination of lectures, group work and presentations. All participants are required to attend regularly, to consult the recommended literature before attending class, and to give a presentation in plenary. Grading consists of a written essay of 5,000 words plus individual contributions during the sessions.

Every class starts with an introduction to the topic and is followed by a presentation of the two required readings by individual students plus discussion. In the second part of the class, we will organize a randomly constituted and moderated panel discussion on the articles with three to four experts (fishbowl). Every class is concluded by a summary of lessons learned.

Grading consists of three elements: presentation of articles in class, participation in a fishbowl session, and handing in of an essay (3000 words) that connects at least two the articles of the class to its overall theme.

All literature is available on moodle (key: Politics)

Dates of seminar sessions:

14.4. The Promise of Europe

28.4. Democracy and Human Rights in Europe

12.5. European Social Policy

26.5. European Fiscal Policy

9.6. Migration Policy

23.6. Foreign and Security Policy

7.7. Democracy in Europe

21.7. Beyond Crisis