EUS 4932/EUS 6932: Understanding the EU: A Comparative Perspective

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Contact

Center for European Studies
3324 Turlington Hall
PO Box 117342
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 294-7142
(352) 392-8966 (fax)
Email

Departmentally Controlled Section

Meeting Time: March 17-23, 2009 | periods 11-E2 (6:15pm-9:10pm)
Location: 3312 Turlington Hall
Visiting Scholar: Dr. Sergio Fabbrini

The course will provide an understanding of the EU from a comparative perspective. The EU continues to be considered by scholars and practitioners an “exceptional polity”, a “postmodern experiment”, a “unique political phenomenon”. The course will challenge these views, arguing that they are parochial and redundant.

The literature on the EU is a growth industry. Thousands of books and articles deal with one or the other specific institutional or policy feature of the EU. However, there is a dramatic lack of the comprehension of the systemic logic of the EU. Because there is no knowledge without comparison (“who knows one thing knows no thing”, Giovanni Sartori), the course will investigate the EU through a precise comparative framework.

Comparative analysis cannot be done through generic references or impressionistic claims. The EU is a union of states and not a nation state: this quality needs to be located at the centre of any comparative analysis of the EU. The EU as an experiment in building a supranational organization will be the focus of the course.

Course Program

First Part
After a 1.5 hour introduction on the EU as political system, the course will pursue the following comparative strategy:

  • Comparison of the EU with the other main regional organizations (Asean, Apec, Mercosur and Nafta) in order to show that it is more than an economic confederation or common market organization (1.5 hour).
  • Comparison of the EU with the democratic models of the EU member states and other OCSE established democracies, in order to show that the EU cannot fit in one (majoritarian/competitive) or the other (consensual/consociational) of the predominant models (3 hours).
  • Comparison of the EU with the other democratic union of states, namely United States and Switzerland (the former in particular), in order to show the EU (as the other unions of states) belong to a specific democratic model, the compound democracy model (3 hours).

Second Part
Once defined the EU as a compound democracy, then it is necessary to investigate its decision-making implications, taking into consideration also the changes introduced in the compound model of the EU by the Lisbon Treaty entered in force in December 1, 2009. Again in a comparative perspective (this time comparing the EU with the other main compound democracy, namely the US), a detailed analysis will be dedicated to:

  • The domestic side of the decision-making processes (3 hours).
  • Rhe foreign policy side of the decision-making process (3 hours).

Finally, between the First and Second Part of the course, a workshop will be organized on the topic: “The constitutional future of the EU after the Lisbon Treaty”. The topic of the constitutionalization of the EU will be introduced in a comparative (American) perspective. Other scholars from the US and Europe will participate to the workshop.

At the end of the course, the student is required to know how the EU is organized and functions.

Variable Credits

The number of credit varies from 1 to 3 and it will be assigned based on the student preference and the amount of work completed as follows:

  • 1 credit = active participation in class and final workshop on March 20, 2010 plus completion of exam covering the assigned readings
  • 2 credits = all of the above and in addition in-class presentation and a short 5-7 page final paper due April 21, 2010 – the last day of the Spring 2010 semester
  • 3 credits = all of the above except final paper will be 20-25 page research paper due April 21, 2010 – the last day of the Spring 2010 semester

Meeting Time

The course runs the whole semester but it will only meet for the period of one week (a total of 15 class periods) and it has been scheduled for periods 11-E2 (6:15pm-9:10pm). Professor Fabbrini will be on campus for one week in March (March 17-23, 2010) and his schedule is quite flexible; the Center for European Studies will work with the registered students to come up with the best possible office hours. Students will need to complete many readings in advance.

Workshop

The workshop has been scheduled for Saturday, March 20, 2010 (Time: tba) and all students, regardless of credits, are expected to participate.

Students With Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

Academic Honor

Students are expected to adhere to the UF Student Honor Code. The academic honor system of the University of Florida is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility (1) to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in the student’s own work, (2) to refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in the University community and (3) to foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility on the part of the University community. Students violating the honor code will receive zero (0) points for the assignment or exam in question, and may receive an “F” for the class.

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Lectures & Readings

Course Texts

There is one required book for this class:

  • Fabbrini, S. (2010). Compound Democracies: Why the United States and Europe Are Becoming Similar, Oxford, Oxford University Press, revised edition.

The rest of the readings will be available online either through E-RESERVES at the UF George A. Smathers Libraries Course Reserve System (ARES), or as direct links below:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Seminar 1: “Is the EU Exceptional?”

Introduction: State, Nation and Democracy: A Framework
Required Reading (1.5 hour):

  • Fabbrini, S. (2010). Compound Democracies: Why the United States and Europe Are Becoming Similar, Oxford, Oxford University Press, revised edition, Ch. 2.
  • Fabbrini, S. (2008). America and Its Critics: Virtues and Vices of the Democratic Hyperpower, Cambridge, Polity Press. Ch. tba.
  • The EU as a regional economic organization? (1.5 hour).
  • Haas, E. (1997). Nationalism, Liberalism, and Progress: The Rise and Decline of Nationalism, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, Ch. 2.

The EU as a Regional Economic Organization?
Required Reading (1.5 hour):

  • Fabbrini, S. (2009). “European Regionalism in Comparative Perspective: Features and Limits of the New Medievalism’s Approach to World Order”, Agora Without Frontiers: A Quarterly Journal of International Economy and Politics, 14, n. 4, pp. 438-471.
  • Telò, M. (ed.) (2007), European Union and New Regionalism Regional Actors and Global Governance in a Post-Hegemonic Era, Burlington, Ashgate, Part II.

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Seminar 2: “Democracy for Nation States”

Required Reading:

  • Mair, P. (2008). Democracies, in D. Caramani (ed.), Comparative Politics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 108-132.
  • Lijphart, A. (1999). Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries, New Haven, Yale University Press, Chps 1-4.

Friday, March 19, 2010
Seminar 3: “Democracy for Unions of States”

Required Reading:

  • Fabbrini, S. (2010). Compound Democracies: Why the United States and Europe Are Becoming Similar, Oxford, Oxford University Press, revised edition, Part II.
  • Hendrickson, D. C. (2003). Peace Pact: The Los World of the American Founding, Lawrence, The University Press of Kansas, Part Six.
  • Jabko, N. and C. Parsons (eds.) (2005). With US or Against US? European Trends in American Perspective, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Ch. 1.
  • Schmidt, V.A. (2006). Democracy in Europe: The EU and National Polities, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Ch. 1 and 5.

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Workshop: “The Constitutionalization of the European Union”

Required Reading for participating actively in the workshop:

Monday, March 22, 2010
Seminar 4: “Compoundness and Decision-Making”

Required Reading for participating actively in the workshop:

  • Fabbrini, S. (2010). Compound Democracies: Why the United States and Europe Are Becoming Similar, Oxford, Oxford University Press, revised edition, Ch.10.
  • Hayward, J. (ed.) (2008). Leaderless Europe, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Introduction and Part III.
  • Jones, C.O. (1995). Separate But Equal Branches: Congress and the Presidency, Chatham Chatham House, Part I.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Seminar 5: “Compoundness and Foreign Policy”

Required Reading for participating actively in the workshop:

  • Fabbrini, S. and D. Sicurelli (2008). “Bringing Policy-making Structure Back In: Why Are the US and the EU Pursuing Different Foreign Policies?”, International Politics, v. 45, n. 3, pp. 292-309.
  • Fisher, L. (2004). Presidential War Power, Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, revised edition, Ch. 1 and 11.
  • Hendrickson, D.C. (2009). Union, Nation, or Empire: The American Debate over International Relations, 1789-1941, Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, Introduction.
  • Hill, C. and M. Smith (eds.) (2005), International Relations and the European Union, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Ch. 1.
  • Sjursen, H. (2007). Civilian or Military Power? European Foreign Policy in Perspective, London, Routledge, Ch. 1.