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In the last decades, the dynamic process of European Integration has not only confronted political science with several new empirical objects of investigation, but also with great theoretical and methodological challenges. The political science concepts and methods which were developed in the context of national political systems do not suffice to analyze and explain the new developments. Especially the transnational and transregional phenomena following below require a rethinking of classical terms, often coined in the light of specific understanding of national sovereignty, and the development of new research methods to analyze transnational processes. Research activities at the Center for European Integration focus on the following aspects:
- policy-specific processes and developments in the European multi-level system (region, nation, European Union);
- the development of transnational forms of governance, i.e. the emergence of a transnational law and governance system;
- dynamics and consequences of the enlargement of the EU;
- the emergence of multi-national, European policy-networks, of European publics, and of new civil society associations;
- questions of social cohesion and identity in Europe;
- the tension between effectiveness and legitimacy of European governance, especially with regard to the implementation and enforcement of European law in member, candidate, and associate states;
- the evolution of a non-state structure into an international actor in trade, development, democracy promotion, and security policies;
- the diffusion of European ideas within and outside of the EU, especially in the context of a transfer of politics and norms to other world regions (the Americas, Africa, Asia).
Due to its relevance for regional, national, and international processes, politics, and institutions, processes of European Integration enjoy increasing public and scholarly attention. The Jean Monnet Chair and the Center for European Integration at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of Political Science of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence "The EU and its Citizens" focus their research and teaching activities on the study of this expanding field.