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1 Proposal: number 196

196. PSCI 257/783: Western Europe in World Politics

Contact:Christa Altenstetter
Abstract:Political science scholars study fundamental questions of international relations in a changing
global system through the lens of academic international relations (IR). In this course, we will
study Europe as part of the international/global system. We will also study the European Union
constituting an international system in itself that, in turn, contributes to shaping the global
system. A clarification of Europe is in order. There are 34 nation-states in Europe: 27 are members
of the European Union; 17 EU member states participate in the Eurozone; and 25 countries, including
three non-EU member states, participate in the passport free travel zone, which is secured by the
Schengen agreement). Presently, there is no consensus in political science on how to study the
European Union as an international actor, its external relations, or its foreign policy. While IR
scholars exclusively draw on the theories of international relations (realism, liberal
intergovernmentalism, and constructivism), other scholars prefer to reinterpret and modify
conceptualizations of power with a pragmatic purpose of not only dwelling on what the European Union
is but also focusing on what the EU does. This includes defending Europe’s interests in a changing
world order, engaging in regional and inter-regional cooperation, conflict prevention and crisis
management, and peace building and neighborhood policies. In this course, we draw on the second
school of thought to shed light on why in dealing with the international community the European
Union prefers multilateralism to unilateralism, why it promotes inclusiveness, sustainable
development, collective security, respect for human rights, and the rule of law power, and why it
prefers negotiations and persuasion over coercive and military power.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
PSCI 257 2011-09-07 ET Submitted Dept
PSCI 257 2011-09-07 SS Submitted Dept
PSCI 257 2011-10-05 SS Approved GEAC
PSCI 257 2011-10-05 ET Approved GEAC
PSCI 257 2011-10-13 SS Approved UCC
PSCI 257 2011-10-13 ET Approved UCC
PSCI 257 2011-11-10 SS Approved Senate
PSCI 257 2011-11-10 ET Approved Senate