REECAS Quarterly Course Lists
Winter 2021: JSIS A 302 The Politics and Cultures of Europe
Meeting Time: TTh 2:30 – 4:20 PM
Joint Sections: None
Instructor: Sabine Lang
To associate Europe with ‘crisis’ has become almost commonplace. The financial crisis, the refugee crisis, the rise of rightwing reactionary political movements and parties as well as Brexit have led to increasing tensions within Europe. Some believe that these crises call the European Union integration project in question. On the other hand, much of Europe still holds the promise of fighting economic inequality and focusing policies on social welfare. A majority of Europeans are committed to addressing climate change, and debates on economic and social injustice are omnipresent. This is not all, not even primarily, the result of supranational policies. Even though European integration has been a powerful motor for promoting some of these norms and values, nation states, their political cultures, and their specific institutional arrangements remain central to what Europe ‘is’ and stands for. National policies inform for example foreign, social, or migration policies. This course is designed to develop a better understanding of how European nation states and their different political legacies and cultures impact European integration and, more broadly, Europe’s future(s).
We will be assessing different crises in national contexts and highlight their interconnectedness. Special emphasis will be placed on a number of challenges that countries face, such as the rise of nationalistic rightwing parties, migration patterns in certain regions, and new regionalisms emerging out of cultural and economic inequalities.