This course focuses on the political economy of the European Union (EU). There are three main emphases: (1) the theory of European integration; (2) the key, epoch-making events (Rome Treaty, the Single European Act, Maastricht and monetary union, the financial crisis, Brexit); and (3) the intensive examination of particular policies and issues (e.g. monetary policy, refugee policy). The EU is a rapidly moving target. In 1958 there were six members, by 1986 there were twelve members; then fifteen, and today there are twenty-eight, soon to be twenty-seven with the UK departure. While this creates some difficulties (e.g. the rules change with new members), it also provides an opportunity to study the clash of interests and ideas within a rapidly changing political and economic environment. During the past several years, the foundations of the European Union and the Economic and Monetary Union have been challenged. A major member state is in process of exiting the EU (Brexit), and the EU’s institutions are under severe stress from the refugee crisis and the rise of populist parties in Finland, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, among others. The course will provide an opportunity to examine some of the challenges that the EU faces in real time.
Course Structure, Requirements, and Evaluations
The requirements of the course are (1) regular participation in class discussions, implying class attendance; (2) completion of reading assignments; and (3) taking a series of exams. The exams will be a combination of essays designed to assess your overall comprehension of the course material along with shorter exercises that will test your mastery of the detailed subject matter. Absences in excess of three imply inadequate class participation. Class participation will count for 20 percent of your final grade, the mid-term will count 30% and the final will be worth 50%. Please note my remarks above about the importance of class discussion. Finally, please do not miss the exams. Enrollment in the class implies that you have no conflicts with the exam dates and will be here for the exams. Only a written excuse from your doctor will be accepted for a makeup exam.