JSIS A 301 Europe Today

This lecture class will introduce students to the cultural, political and economic challenges that Europe faces today. We will explore aspects of history, politics, the economy, and society and social life, in order to grasp the exciting dynamics of this continent since WWII, its integration path, and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.

JSIS A 302 Politics and Society of Western Europe

Why do the Germans want stronger integration while the UK has decided that Brexit is the right political path? Why has Italy had almost 40 governments since 1945? Why has France established a ban on full-face veils in public? Even though European integration is a powerful motor for politics in Europe today, nation states, their political cultures, and their specific institutional arrangements remain central to the future of Europe. The current debate about the “re-nationalization” of politics during the Euro crisis speaks to the power of nation states in Europe. This seminar will introduce students to political systems and social transformations in major Western European Democracies since 1945.

JSIS A 494 Gender and Citizenship in the Global North

Citizenship in the democracies of the Global North is gendered. Gender arrangements are a key dimension of political participation, economic performance, civic engagement, and family structures. Persisting gender inequalities on both continents are a challenge that governments, businesses, and families address in different ways and with different priorities. Investigating gendered citizenship means assessing, among other things, the distribution of economic and political resources, of public voice, and of care work across European states and the US. This course introduces students to multiple approaches to gender equality, ranging from the liberal citizenship discourse and its policies in the United States to social democratic citizenship in Scandinavia and republican citizenship in France.

JSIS A 494 Between Bonn and Berlin: German Transformatioin 1945 to Today

This course will introduce students to the political processes that led ‘from Bonn to Berlin’. Taking unification as a departure point, we will study institutional dynamics, social transformations and cultural cleavages in unified Germany. We will start by exploring the politics of unification, specifically the role of social movements in the GDR, the events around November 9, 1989 as well as the political processes leading to unification. In the second part of the course, we will trace dynamics of change and adaptation in the new ‘Berlin Republic’, such as the push for welfare reform, the political culture of gender and ethnicity, the new identity of Germany in international relations, and the role of collective memory and ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’ (dealing with the past).

JSIS A 494 European Citizenship

Citizenship can be theorized as a set of rights (and obligations), as participation, and as a sense of belonging. This course will investigate how rights, participation, and a sense of belonging have evolved in the European Union and explore different approaches to fostering a European identity. ‘Making Europeans’ requires an understanding of what Europe and the European Union actually are. In the first part of the seminar, we debate the major current theories of (a) what the EU is, and (b) how it constructs its citizens. The second part investigates different approaches and actors that are involved in ‘making Europeans’. We ask what material rights EU citizens have, to what degree they participate in the EU polity and how they navigate their identities between the regional, national and the supranational level.

JSIS 495 Task Force: Making European Citizens

One of the most pressing questions in the current Euro crisis is how much solidarity Europeans are willing to show and to what degree they are rooted in their identity as Europeans. Therefore, the ‘making’ of European citizens remains a central challenge for European integration. Early warning signs pointing to a lack of European identity were low turnouts for European Parliamentary elections and the failure of the Constitutional Process between 2003 and 2006. In the current crisis, strong re-nationalization of public opinion and decision making fuels the perception of a deep-seated legitimacy deficit of the Brussels-based polity. Recently, the EU has tried to address this deficit with attempts to strengthen the European Parliament, to create a more powerful EU executive, to formalize organized civil society input, and to engage citizens more in EU affairs. But it seems as though too little has been done too late. Task Force assesses the current legitimacy deficit by identifying several areas in which this democratic challenge is obvious. We then proceed to draft fact-based policy recommendations that could strengthen European citizenship.

JSIS 498 Global Civil Society and the Public Sphere

Globalization fuels concerns about the primacy of economic agendas at the expense of civic engagement and public voice. This course explores the spaces, meanings, and functions of civil societies and public spheres in a globalized world. First, we investigate how these concepts are being defined in different political theories and ask specifically how the connection between civic engagement and political advocacy is being established. In the second half of the course we look at actors and organizations that might serve as catalysts for civic participation: What is the actual and potential role of non governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and transnational networks in creating civic institutions and mobilizing citizens? Do new electronic media such as the internet enhance public spheres? And do, or should, state institutions take on responsibility for activating citizens

JSIS 499 Undergraduate Research

If you are interested in learning how to frame a specific empirical research question and specifically trying out new tools for analyzing civil societies and social movements, you can do so during a 499 undergraduate research internship while earning 2 to 5 credits.

JSIS 578 NGOs and Civil Society in Global Governance

This graduate seminar is designed for M.A. and PhD students interested in global affairs from a civil society perspective. We read theories and empirical studies that engage with the increasing visibility of civil society actors in international and transnational institutions and with the emergence of global social movements. Topics include civil society theories, NGOs between institutional and public advocacy, North-South and East-West divides of the NGO sector, accountability and legitimacy of civil society actors at the UN and the EU, and the role of foundations in policy making.