This seminar examines central contemporary issues and challenges in European politics and EU affairs. On the background of European integration and the workings of EU politics, the course particularly focuses on the EU’s international affairs; Europe in regional and global security; the EU’s foreign, security, and defense policy; and various issues related to Europe’s search for its role and place in twenty-first world politics.
Topics to be covered, among others, will include the causes, drivers, and hindrances of European integration and the EU’s foreign, security, and defense policies; matters of Europe as part of the north Atlantic world and transatlantic relations; issues of the EU becoming an international political actor; dealing with an assertive Russia and its war in Ukraine; China’s rise, the evolving U.S.-China rivalry, and its implications for Europe. The course concludes with taking stock and looking ahead regarding possible futures, scenarios, key policy challenges, and the possible roles that Europe may or may not play in the twenty-first century world politics to come.
The course syllabus combines several “classic” statements on European politics and international affairs with some of the most interesting recent statements, including a number or particularly pertinent original documents and texts; scholarly articles; as well as policy and opinion pieces.
Course activities include seminar-style discussions; brief student presentations of their reviews and critiques of the readings; student presentations on (immediate) policy options and or (longer-term) policy strategies along with seminar discussions of these; brief rounds of joint (policy or other) brainstorming; and a number of presentations or short lectures by the course provider.