West European Studies | Spec Topics in W European Studies: Politics of the EU
W405 | 14974 | Furniss, N

11:00 AM-12:15 PM   MW   3 cr.
Obtain on-line authorization for above class from department
Above class meets with POLS-Y350 and WEUR-W605

After World War Two, Europe was described memorably by
Winston Churchill as a “carnal house, a breeding ground for
pestilence and war.” Today, most of Europe is economically rich,
politically stable, and at peace. As a whole and as individual
states, “Europe” also faces a number of challenges, many of which
have arisen from past successes. Our general aim is to try to
understand the connections between this resurgence with its
attendant challenges and the concomitant development of the European
Union.  To put our focus in the form of a question posed by the
Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset, is “regeneration inseparable
from Europeanization?”
	There are additional reasons to examine the European Union
which have direct impacts on American economic and security
policies. The EU as an entity exceeds the United States in
population and roughly equals it in gross domestic product. It is
the largest trading block in the world; its common currency (common
that is to most of its members—nothing in the EU is simple) the EURO
is the most important currency in international trade. Looked at as
a potentially emerging super country, the EU has a number of
attributes of a sovereign state, but it lacks many others. And its
institutional structure and even its geographical dimensions are in
constant flux. All this makes the study of the EU an intellectually
exciting project.
	Our text will be The Government and Politics of the European
Union (sixth edition) by Neill Nugent. There will be a number of
additional readings on e reserve, plus class handouts. Assignments
will include two noncumulative examinations, a series of quizzes on
EU institutions and policies, and a five page paper on the newly
proposed European Union Treaty (aka “Constitution”?). I welcome
questions and comments on the course.