POLS 338/3.0 European Integration
This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts, institutions and debates concerning the European Union. It aims at introducing the students to the creation, development and evolution of the European Union with a specific focus on its historical, theoretical, institutional and policy-making frameworks. The course will examine the origins of the European Union, the course of its evolution up to the present, and it will consider the main debates about the role and functions of the main institutions. It will also consider the future challenges in the context of the EU economic and political crisis, the recent enlargement developments, further enlargement possibilities as well as the position of the EU in International Politics.
By the end of the course the students are expected to:
- Have acquired knowledge of what ‘European Integration’ means and how it has been conceptualized.
- Have gained an understanding of the driving forces behind the moves for integration in Europe since the end of WW2.
- Be able to interpret and critically evaluate the main issues, problems and challenges in the contemporary political debate in the EU.
- Understand the main differences and similarities among the EU member states and assess their efforts to be integrated.
Two field studies have been arranged for this course.
A. Week 4: Visit of the representation office of the EU Parliament in London
B. Week 4: Attendance of Lecture on European Elections at the London School of Economics
The first field study will provide the students the opportunity to address direct questions to the representatives of the EU Commission in London and discuss how the European profile is built and sustained by the representative offices in the member states. The second field study will bring the students closer to the anti-European voices in the European Parliament as the British MP Nigel Farage will discuss how and why the European Elections of 2014 really matter for the future of the EU.
Students should note that the reading lists included in the outline are not exhaustive. The reading lists are intended to give a grasp of the major issues but there are always other sources that can be usefully consulted. The field studies arranged for this course will give the students the opportunity to interact with experts in the studied area, raise questions and reflect upon their field studies’ experience. Independent reading, class discussions and field studies will assist the students to move beyond the description and analysis of the taught topics but –most importantly- to develop their critical thinking and examine the taught topics from a more experiential perspective.
When the coursework is marked, credit will be given to those students who demonstrate they have carried out research to find and use their own sources. Students should also note that the various issues covered in this course are interlinked and that credit will be given to students who demonstrate the capacity for appropriate synthesis. Students are strongly recommended to take a holistic approach and not treat the topics covered simply as self-contained units.
The final grade for this course will be determined on the basis of:
A field study review: 20%
First individual presentation: 20%
Second individual presentation: 20%
An essay: 20%
Attendance and Participation: 20%
Systematic attendance and participation, attendance of the field studies, delivery of presentations on time and submission of the written coursework before the deadline are course requirements.