West European Studies | Politics of the European Union
W605 | 11355 | Furniss

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.