Few areas in the world have changed so much as Europe has during the last twenty-five years: the communist bloc collapsed, the Soviet Union disintegrated and the European Union doubled its membership. Knowledge of the EU is key to understanding the continent today, and our course will therefore begin with an in-depth look at how the Union works and at the many internal challenges it faces, from the economic crises of certain member nations to energy security issues, from illegal immigration to defense strategies. We will also examine the rising power of euro-skeptics and their effect on domestic and European-wide politics. But we will also need to look beyond the borders of the EU in order to understand the current state of the EU’s relations with other states and regions. The traditional US-European relationship in the domain of security is undergoing an important transformation and future challenges will exert an even greater stress on it. The EU’s biggest neighbor, Russia, has emerged as a revitalized force, with new geopolitical ambitions that are undermining the status quo. Finally, we will look at trans-Mediterranean relations, especially in view of the dramatic changes that have affected the Arab countries.
Department: Political Science
Semesters: Fall, Spring