Europe Today

JSIS A 301
  • Quarters: Spring
  • General Education Requirements: I&S
  • Instructors: Sabine Lang

Europe is rattled by the financial crisis of 2008 and the current refugee crisis. The UK might have left the EU by the time this class starts, and Central and Eastern European countries are increasingly skeptical about the EU project. Greece is still near bankruptcy. Right wing nationalist parties have surfaced and want to renationalize the continent. What will become of European integration? This lecture class will introduce you to the political, economic, and cultural challenges that Europe faces today. We will explore post-World War II dynamics, the EU’s path to integration, and in particular the challenges it faces in the 21st century. Using the expertise of University of Washington faculty from several disciplines, the course will also introduce you to different methods and approaches to studying Europe. Special emphasis will be placed on the politics of European integration and the capacities of the EU to cope with multiple simultaneous challenges in the economic, political, social, and foreign policy realms. Topics that we will address include: Can economic integration work without political integration? How do European institutions work? Is there a European identity? Has the fiscal and banking crisis of 2008 onwards altered the future of European integration? How does Europe handle the current refugee crisis? Is the EU a model for multilevel governance beyond state borders, or a failed supranational project? The lecture class is reading-based and uses investigative learning to help us understand the challenges that Europe faces today.