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Winter Term 2021/22

30201 Lecture: Introduction to European Integration

Tue 10 am-12 noon

Course Description

European integration has had major consequences for European societies, politics, and policy-making. The lecture gives a thorough overview of the history of the integration process and the current state of the European Union (EU). Specifically, the students will get to know the basic institutional features of the EU and the major theoretical approaches used to explain the level and scope of integration. Also, the lecture puts a spotlight on debates over the politicization of Europe, the decline of citizens’ support, and the multiple crises faced by the EU in recent years. The students will advance their understanding of the political and social implications of European integration as an important background for their further studies of contemporary European societies.

Basic Readings

Cini, Michelle and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (eds.) (2019). European Union Politics. Seventh Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coman, Ramona, Amandine Crespy and Vivien A. Schmidt (2020). Governance and Politics in the Post-Crisis European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2015). The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


30231 Research Placement: The Politicization of Civil Society

Mon 12-4 p.m. 

Course Description

Contemporary societies in Europe and beyond have seen the emergence of new cleavages, often driven by populist radical right challengers and cross-cutting traditional political divides. Importantly, these new cleavages have not only put traditional political parties under pressure but have also resulted in a profound politicization of civil society. The politicization of civil society refers to at least four dynamics: First, we have seen an increasing number of civil society organizations with socio-political objectives compared to leisure activities. Second, traditional civil society organizations (from unions, church-related associations, to sports clubs) have been forced to take sides in controversial political debates. Simultaneously, they have been challenged also within their own ranks by the rise of new political parties and movements. Third, new social movements from the right have successfully mobilized citizens on the streets by articulating nativist and anti-immigration positions. Finally, we have also seen increasing counter-mobilization against the rise of radical right populist forces. In the research placement, we will analyze these dynamics in civil society in Europe and beyond. The students will engage with theoretical accounts form civil society and social movement studies. They will conduct their empirical research, either based on existing data (such as individual or organizational survey data) or their own original data collections. Note that participants should have a good intermediary background in statistical modeling, using as software either Stata or R.

Basic Readings

Berman, Sheri. (1997). Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic. World Politics Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 401-429
della Porta, Donatella (2020). Building Bridges: Social Movements and Civil Society in Times of Crisis. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary & Nonprofit Organizations Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 938-948.