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European Union: Integration and Disintegration


This seminar is earmarked for IP, DR, NP


In this graduate-level seminar, we will study the rationale for European (dis)integration and day-to-day politics in the European Union (EU). On the one hand, we will review the grand theories of European integration. Through the prism of these theories, we will assess the recent crises (Eurozone, refugee, Brexit, pandemic, rule of law, and security and energy crises) in the EU and what the (divided) reactions across and within member states imply for the future of European (differentiated) integration or disintegration. On the other hand, we will survey the EU’s institutional structure and policy-making processes. Relying on theories of, among others, policy-making, legislative organization, party politics, and democratic representation, we will analyse critical issues such as the low electoral participation in European Parliament elections, the rise of Euroskepticism, variable compliance with EU decisions among member states, and democratic responsiveness of EU institutions and policies to its citizens and member states. The seminar will provide students with the theoretical insights, analytical skills and research tools necessary to assess contemporary challenges to European integration.

Course objectives

1 To familiarize students with the state-of-the-art theoretical debates and analytical research on European (dis)integration and European Union politics
2 To encourage critical thinking in evaluating alternative theoretical arguments, research designs and empirical findings in class presentations and discussions
3 To motivate students to develop their own research ideas and guide them in examining these ideas in their analytical papers

Mode of instruction

Seminar - Group discussions, student presentations, and papers.

Assessment method

Class assignments, presentations, and a final paper.

Reading list

The full syllabus will be circulated during the first class. Readings will be available online through the university library.
The course will cover back-to-back the following book, which is recommended for purchase:
Hix, Simon and Høyland, Bjørn (2022) The Political System of the European Union. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.


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See 'MyTimetable'