Political Science | Politics of the European Union
Y350 | 26409 | Sissenich
In 1945, Europe was completely devastated as a result of WWII. More
than sixty years later, 27 European countries are bound together in
the European Union. They share economic and monetary policy,
agricultural and environmental policy, asylum guidelines, and
countless other policy areas traditionally controlled by national
governments. Meanwhile, the EU and the US are each other’s most
important trade partners. We will examine the following questions:
What drives European integration? What explains the complex
institutional structures that we find in the EU? Are there
comparable cases of regional integration elsewhere in the world? Why
does European integration evolve more easily in some policy areas
than others? What is the role of law in integration? What does
European integration mean for democracy?
The course proceeds in three parts: 1) history and theories of
integration; 2) EU institutions; and 3) EU policies. Policies to be
covered include: the single market, economic and monetary union,
agriculture, environment, enlargement, security, and justice and
While neither a political science nor an economics background is a
prerequisite for this course, students must be willing to engage
arguments from both of these fields.
1) a group project consisting of an analysis of EU newspaper
coverage of a particular issue in different countries and languages;
2) a midterm focusing on history and institutions of the EU
3) a cumulative final focusing on policy-making in the EU
4) weekly readings of ca. 50 pp. of fairly dense legal,
political, and economic texts
5) participation in classroom discussion.
At the end of this course, students should be able to
1) Understand the institutional set-up of the European Union.
2) Understand how the EU and its member-states make decisions
and implement them.
3) Place their knowledge about EU institutions and policies in
a broader context of concepts about regional integration and
4) Assess the close connection between the US and the EU (and
between Indiana and the EU!) on a range of political-economic issues.
5) Evaluate news reports from a range of sources for
ideological leanings and policy preferences.
6) Deploy their existing knowledge of one or more foreign
languages to analyze news reports from EU sources.”