Fall semester coursework provides students with a foundation in the historical, political, economic, and social aspects of the European Union (EU). These core courses acquaint students with key features of EU politics, policy, and society. All students complete the following courses:

POSC 603: The Political Institutions of the European Union

This course is a comprehensive consideration of the EU’s institutions and the relationships among them. It analyzes the roles of the EU’s institutions and advisory bodies and considers the ways that executive, legislative, judicial, and advisory institutions interact. The course also engages debates about the nature and limits of democracy in Europe and considers whether changes in the Union’s institutional architecture might increase the quality of European democracy.

POSC 604: Policy-Making Processes

This course examines policy cycles and illuminates the range of general and sector-specific policy processes that take place in the EU and other complex decision-making environments. The course analyzes the structures of policy regimes and the ways that those structures affect the behaviors of diverse policy actors.

POSC 605: Comparative European Politics

This course examines the functioning of Europe's national political systems. It focuses on state formation, nation building, models of democracy, territorial governance, electoral systems, party systems, legislative-executive relations, state-society dynamics, and other core elements of national governance. The course involves analysis of similarities and differences among national political models and consideration of Europeanization's effects on national governance.

POSC 620: The EU: Contemporary Issues and Controversies

This course offers a deep look into contemporary issues and debates in EU politics. The particular subject matter changes from semester to semester; contemporary issues include the future of the common currency, immigration and asylum, relationships between particular member-states and the broader Union, and EU foreign policy challenges. Regardless of its specific focus, this course considers the historical background of the debate, the positions of different member-states and policy players, and the likely future of the issue. The course requires active engagement with contemporary media coverage, think tank analyses, and scholarly literature.

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