AA7828: The Contemporary EU Syllabus Autumn 2010
The online version of this document (entitled: AA7828: The Contemporary EU), available from this link is considered to be the official version of this document.
- Instructor: Dr Jamal Shahin
- Office: PCH633
- Phone: +44785 123 5307
- Email: email@example.com
- Skype: jshahin
- Office hours: Thursday 13h45 until 14h45 (by appointment).
- Read and re-read this syllabus very carefully.
- Failing to read the syllabus may influence your grade negatively in borderline cases.
The course provides an introduction to political science theories that influence contemporary studies of the European Union.
It begins by examining different theoretical issues in dominant political science theory, particularly those that concern the role of the state and the EU in contemporary politics. These include democracy and legitimacy, governance and bureaucracy, and institutions and ideas. The second half of the course examines a number of domains in which these concepts and insights can be brought to a greater understanding of the European Union and its activities.
Throughout, the module will have a particular focus on using methods and approaches from the disciplines of politics and international relations to explain the EU. Through this linking of theory and practice between the first and second half of the course, students will be encouraged to discuss current political problems critically and analytically. Transferable skills will be a crucial part of this course, including use of group work. The entire course will attempt to ensure collaborative learning between students.
The aims of the module are:
- To develop an understanding of the theoretical debates in contemporary European Union studies;
- To understand the role of the European Union in international relations;
- To enable students to relate these theoretical debates to current problems and issues, and to link these to the external and internal activities of the EU.
- To encourage students to engage in collaborative and participative group work.
Text and readings
Core texts are:
- Charlotte Bretherton and John Vogler (2006, 2nd edition), The European Union as a Global Actor, Routledge
- Key chapters from Ben Rosamond (2000) Theories of European Integration, Macmillan
- Articles and news items from the UvA Digital Library.
Time and place of class
Generally, classes are held every Thursday between 3pm and 6pm, in room PCH105. See the schedule (below) for more information. Classes will have a break halfway through of 15 minutes. Time will be allocated for the lecture, group work, and student presentations (where appropriate).
In addition to the office hours and other means of communication, I am available primarily through email for queries about the course. Please put [TCEU] at the beginning of your subject heading if your email relates to the course. Failure to do so may delay my response to your question.
Preparation for class and attendance
Class attendance and participation are vitally important because of the organisation of the course. I will take attendance and note your degree of preparation and participation. Absence or failing to read the material requested will be noted and may influence your grade negatively.
Students are required to participate in one group presentation during the course.
In class, I shall make no attempt to cover all the material in the reading lists. We shall use the limited time available in a flexible way to try to ensure that central concepts are understood. Contact time will also be used to encourage discussion and development of your own ideas. Students are strongly encouraged to come to the classroom with their own ideas for discussion.
Your final grade for the course will be calculated on the following weighting:
|Presentation and overall participation||15%|
During the course, you will be expected to submit two pieces of work. The first - collaboratively written - piece (“discussion paper”) will be approximately 3500 words long (10% margin allowed in both cases), and the individual essay will be words. Your topics can be self-selected, but you must have written confirmation at least two weeks in advance of the deadline that the selected topic is acceptable. The topic of your individual essay cannot be the exactly the same as that of your group work.
The discussion paper is supposed to provide insight into your chosen topic, and also provide information about the role of the EU in this area. A simple description (aka a wikipedia-esque description) is adequate but not necessarily ideal: you should try to formulate an argument about the ‘effectiveness’ of the EU in your chosen area through the description you provide. It should cover overall context of the issue, the role of the EU (and its institutions), and then a reflection on the ‘effectiveness’ of the EU.
The discussion paper must have presentation material attached to the online version. The grade for the discussion paper will be determined from this online version: a printed copy is not necessary and will not be used to grade the final piece of work. Use of multimedia tools (slides, design of a website, video, etc) is encouraged in the discussion paper submission, however the essay will be the principal consideration in grading your work.
Cooperation (cheating or plagiarism) between students on the writing of the individual essays is not allowed i.e. you cannot use material submitted for the discussion paper as part of your individual essay.
The individual essay should be submitted on or before the date specified in the syllabus, in the lecturer’s in tray next to the European Studies Secretariat (PCH 648). If you will not be able to submit written work on time, I expect to be notified in advance or as soon as possible. Requests for additional time must be accompanied by documentation from a physician or university official.
The penalty for late written work is 0.5 grade-points per day, beginning immediately after the deadline specified below. Computer, transport, and/or printer problems are not a valid excuse for handing in work late. Essays overdue for more than one week will not be accepted. Personal problems are only accepted with medical certificate or documentation from a university official.
Documents submitted on paper should conform to the following rules: A4, printed on both sides of the page, with single line spacing. The pages in the document should be attached together in the top left hand corner with a single staple; no binding and no plastic coverings should be used. Only one copy should be provided.
A digital copy of all submissions should be provided to the lecturer through Blackboard (‘Ephorus assignment’ for the individual essay), in either RTF, PDF or DOC(X) format. This electronic document should be identical to the printed copy.
There will be one examination at the end of the course. You shall be required to answer three questions from a list of five. You shall have two hours to complete the exam. To achieve a good grade in the exam, you should:
- Explain and show an understanding of basic concepts and tensions in European politics
- Answer the question
- Know your facts(!)
- Provide reasons and justification for your answer, whilst taking account other opinions
- Apply what you have learned in class and in your reading to a question
Examinations should be taken at the date specified. If you will not be able to take an examination, I expect to be notified in advance or as soon as possible. Use of the retake examination option is discouraged unless absolutely necessary.
Presentation and overall participation
Prior to the beginning of each lecture, an attendance register will be taken.
During the course, you will be expected to present your group’s discussion paper to the entire class. You shall receive a grade for this presentation. This will take into consideration the following aspects of your presentation:
- General awareness of topic
- Level of preparedness
- Fluency in presentation
- Quality of presentation materials
- Innovation (how you present the topic, whether you are stimulating your peers)
- Ability to answer questions from the audience.
Written feedback will be provided to each group, if requested.
You will also receive an individual grade for overall participation in the course. This will relate to your willingness to engage with reading and lecture materials, and your ability to address questions to your peers during their presentations.
In addition to the core texts, here is a list of suggested reading. Not all the reading suggested below is compulsory, and many, many things are not included in this list. However, you are advised to use some of this material along with others you find during your investigations. You should familiarise yourself with the European Commission’s Prelex web-based database, which provides access to most Commission Communications. Furthermore, European Council Presidency Conclusions will be very important to your research. These can be generally found at http://ue.eu.int/. Use of the UvA’s digital library is strongly encouraged. You are strongly recommended to read The Economist amongst other news magazines and newspapers such as The Financial Times.
- Collard-Wexler, Simon (2006) ‘Integration Under Anarchy: Neorealism and the European Union.’ European Journal of International Relations. 12(3): 397-432.
- Croci, Osvaldo (2003) ‘A Closer Look at the Changing Transatlantic Relationship.’ European Foreign Affairs Review. 8: 469-491.
- Crowe, Brian (2003) ‘A common European foreign policy after Iraq?’ International Affairs. 79(3): 533-46.
- Dinan, Desmond (1999) Ever Closer Union: An Introduction to European Integration. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
- Goddard, Stacie E, and Daniel H Nexon (2005) ‘Paradigm Lost? Reassessing Theory of International Politics.’ European Journal of International Relations. 11(1): 9-61.
- Guzzini, Stefano (2000) ‘A Reconstruction of Constructivism in International Relations.’ European Journal of International Relations. 6(2): 147-82.
- Hirst, Paul, and Grahame Thompson (1996) Globalization in Question: The international economy and the possibilities of governance. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
- Hoffmann, Stanley (2000) ‘Towards a Common European Foreign and Security Policy?’ Journal of Common Market Studies. 38(2): 189-198.
- Kaldor, Mary (2003) ‘The idea of global civil society.’ International Affairs. 79(3): 583-593.
- Keohane, Robert (1989) International Institutions and State Power: Essays in International Relations Theory. Boulder, CO: Westview.
- Keohane, Robert, and Joseph Nye (1974) ‘Transgovernmental Relations and International Organisations.’ World Politics. 27(1): 39-62.
- Marsh, Steve and Hans Mackenstein (2005) The International Relations of the European Union. Harlow: Pearson.
- Mearsheimer, John (1990) ‘Back to the Future: Instabillity in Europe After the Cold War.’ International Security. 15(1): 5-56.
- Menon, Anand (2004) ‘From crisis to catharsis: ESDP after Iraq.’ International Affairs. 80(4): 631-48.
- Oberthür, Sebastian, and Thomas Gehring (2004) ‘Reforming International Environmental Governance: An Institutionalist Critique of the Proposal for a World Environment Organisation.’ International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. 4359-81.
- Ortega, Martin, Valérie Arnould, Sven Biscop, Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, and Richard Gowan (2004) Barth Eide, Espen, eds. Global Europe. The Foreign Policy Centre, British Council, European Commission.
- Peterson, John and Margaret Sharp (1998) Technology Policy in the European Union. London: Macmillan Press.
- Pollack, Mark (2001) ‘International Relations Theory and European Integration.’ Journal of Common Market Studies. 39: 221-44.
- Reinicke, Wolfgang (1998) Global Public Policy: Governing without government? Washington DC: The Brookings Institution.
- Ronit, Karsten (2001) ‘Institutions of Private Authority in Global Governance: Linking Territorial Forms of Self-Regulation.’ Administration and Society. 33: 555-78.
- Rosamond, Ben (2000) Theories of European Integration. London: Macmillan Press.
- Rosamond, Ben (1999). ‘Discourses of globalization and the social construction of European identities.’ Journal of European Public Policy. 6: 652-68.
- Ruggie, John (1993) ‘Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations.’ International Organization. 47(1): 139-74.
- Ruggie, John Gerard (1998) Constructing the World Polity. London: Routledge.
- Sandholtz, Wayne and Alec Stone Sweet (1998) European Integration and Supranational Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Schimmelfennig, Frank (2000) ‘International Socialization in the New Europe:: Rational Action in an Institutional Environment.’ European Journal of International Relations. 6(1): 109-39.
- Jan Aart Scholte (2004) ‘Civil Society and Democratically Accountable Global Governance,’ Government and Opposition 39:2: 211-233.
- Smith, Karen E. (2003) European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Stone Sweet, Alec, Wayne Sandholtz and Neil Fligstein (eds.) (2001) The Institutionalization of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Wallace, Helen, William Wallace, and Mark Pollack (eds) (2005) Policy-Making in the European Union. Fifth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Warleigh, Alex (2006) ‘Learning from Europe? EU Studies and the Re-thinking of ‘International Relations’.’ European Journal of International Relations. 12(1): 31-51.
The following literature should also be considered (as ‘light reading’):
- Ferguson, Niall (2005) Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. London: Penguin Books. (Particularly the chapters on EU)
- Leonard, Mark (2005) Why Europe will run the 21st Century. London: 4th Estate.
- Patten, Chris (2005) Not Quite the Diplomat. London: Allen Lane.
- Rifkind, Jeremy (2004) The European Dream. Cambridge: Polity Press
Week 1: Introductory Lecture: 9 September (3pm - 5pm)
- Introduction to the syllabus and teaching method
- Allocation of groups
- EU institutions (first group exercise)
- ‘Conceptualising the EU’ - outline of course
- Discussion papers
- Allocation of cases for Week 4/5
- Spider Diagram
Week 2: Group work: 16 September
- Starting work on discussion papers
- The EU as a political actor
- Overview of EU external activity
- Fill in spider diagram in your group
- Preparation for next week:
- Bretherton and Vogler (2006) chapters 1 and 2
- Rosamond (2000) chapters 1,2 and 3
- Pick ten policy areas of EU activity.
- List them down the right hand side of the page
- Give each policy area a score from 0 - 10, relating to the influence that the EU plays on national-level policymaking in each policy area. (0 = no influence, 10 = complete influence).
- Two policy areas can have the same score.
- Plot these scores on the spider diagram (10 being the outermost, 0 being the centre).
- Join the points together with straight lines, and shade the internal area of the diagram.
- Bring it to class in week 3.
Week 3: Lecture and group work: 23 September
- Recap on theories of European integration
- Rosamond (2000) chapters 1, 2 and 3
- The construction of the European Union: actorness and identity
- Bretherton and Vogler (2006) chapters 1 and 2
- The Contemporary EU and European integration
Week 4: Group work: 30 September
- The case of enlargement: where do the borders of the EU lie? How do these define the EU?
- Bretherton and Vogler (2006) chapter 6
Develop short cases on candidate countries for brief (five minute each) presentations in week 5
Week 5: Lecture and group work: 7 October
Presentation of short cases by groups
Democracy and legitimacy (in the EU)
- The European Parliament
- The advisory bodies
- ‘Going local’ and ‘Plan D’
European Commission (2005). ‘The Commission’s contribution to the period of reflection and beyond: Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate’ Brussels: COM(2005)494 final.
Week 6: Lecture and group work: 14 October
Governance and bureaucracy, institutions and ideas
- The European Commission
- The European Council
- The Council of Ministers
King, L. A. (2003, 1). Deliberation, legitimacy, and multilateral democracy. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, 16(1), 23-50.
Week 7: Lecture and group work: 21 October
- The EU as a federal state? New methods of governance and the EU
- Rosamond (2000) chapter 5
Week 8: READING WEEK
Week 9: Lecture and group work: 4 November
Group Submission of discussion paper online, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline will be 14h exactly on 4 November!
- The EU’s role in international institutions
- International trade,
- Internet governance, and
- Climate change.
- Bretherton and Vogler (2006) chapters 3 and 4
Week 10: Lecture and group work: 11 November
- The EU’s role as an international security and humanitarian aid actor
- Bretherton and Vogler (2006) chapters 5, 7 and 8
- Peer review of discussion papers
Week 11: Presentations: 18 November
- Presentations from groups A, B and C, lecture on essay writing skills.
After your presentation, please fill in the Presentation Evaluation Worksheet
Week 12: Lecture and presentations: 25 November
- General feedback on group work and discussion papers.
- Presentations from groups D, E, F, and G
Week 13: Presentations: 2 December
- Presentations from groups H, I, J, and K
Week 14: Presentations: 9 December
- Presentations from groups L, M, N, and O
Week 15: Responsiecollege: 16 December (3pm - 4.30pm)
Submission of final paper in hard copy format by 14h45 in pigeonhole outside PCH648. Please see submission requirements in the section “Written work” above.
- Preparation for the final exam
- Grades for presentations and discussion papers made available
4 January: 1pm-3pm. Location:
28 January: . Location:BH0.04
Please make use of the following documents:
- Presentation Evaluation Worksheet. This document should be filled in by you and handed to me immediately after your presentation.
- Spider diagram. You will need this for the group work in week 2.
- Course evaluation form (to be handed out towards the end of the course).
Following problems with blackboard, lecture slides are available for download here: