European Integration in Crisis? What Crises?

Academic Year: 
Course Description: 

While the crisis (or crises) of EC/EU have continuously been on the agenda from the very beginning of the integration process, paradoxically from several aspects the EU can also be regarded as a major success story. Moreover its capacity for “development through crises” is regarded as the key factor of its dynamism.

However, there are strong reasons to assert that the manifold problems the EU is facing now set an unprecedented challenge for the entire project of European integration.

This course aims at exploring what might justify these contrasting interpretations by analyzing the crises–ridden Unio though the lense of alternative theories of integration and by discussing crucial issues that shaped its past and might shape its future development (with a special emphasis on the recent economic and financial crisis). The acquired knowledge will help students pursue individual research on EU-related topics.

Since European integration does not have a theory as such there is a variety of approaches applied in the study of integration. Therefore the selected readings consider the EU from different perspectives and use different methodologies. The course provides good opportunity to compare the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches in understanding the same phenomenon.

Teaching format:
Each topic is studied in class in a reading seminar format. Students are expected to read the assigned texts prior the classes.

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will be acquainted with the development of European integration and the major approaches explaining it. The acquired knowledge will enable them to pursue individual research on EU-related topics.


• Students are required to attend classes regularly and to participate actively in course discussions.
• Students are expected to formulate written comments and questions about the literature. These not more than half page long comments and questions will serve as basis for class discussions, and are to be submitted via e-mail by 8 pm be preceding the day of the seminar.
• Students will write brief written tests on the 7th and 12th classes.
• Students make in-class presentations of some literature not included in the core readings or on any relevant topic.

2 short tests (2 x 30% ): 60 %
Written questions and comments: 15 %
In-class presentation 15 %
In-class participation 10 %


Participation in this course does not require any background in European Studies but does require some really very basic acquaintance with some fields of political science, such as comparative politics, political economy and international relations.