For more than sixty years, the European Union has represented the world’s most advanced experiment in governance beyond the nation-state. More recently, however, this experiment has become mired in financial turbulence and growing social protest, and for the first time faces the withdrawal of a member. This course takes a broad view of the promise as well as the challenges of European integration. It looks at the EU’s institutional components, the events leading to the single currency in the 1990s, enlargement eastward into the post-socialist world, and the major crises that have been challenging Europe since 2008: the financial crisis, the rise of populism, and Brexit. These topics allow us to assess Europe’s ability to craft adequate responses to the challenges posed by economic transformation, terrorism, multiculturalism, and worldwide financial interdependence, and to come to a better understanding of the EU’s current and future role on the world stage.
Instructor: Matthew Stenberg