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Ambivalences of Europeanization

Prof. Dr. T. Beichelt, Prof. Dr. C. Weber & C. Frysztacka

This course aims to help students develop a more complex understanding of Europeanization. Its purpose is to provide the necessary means to i) historicize the current European crises by putting Europeanization in a broader temporal and conceptual perspective than just post-war history of the EU, and ii) apply a common theoretical framing that covers highs and lows of European history as well as its present.



Introduction to the Idea of Europe in the Twentieth Century

Dr. M. Keck-Szajbel


To what degree is the European Union ideologically driven? How does it contrast with previous visions of European unity? In this course on the idea of Europe in the twentieth century, we will explore ‘European utopias,’ starting with the age of empires and ending with the peaceful easterly expansion of the European Union. This course will not only explore secondary literature on the growth and/or demise of pan-European phenomena: the course is explicitly designed to include belletristic novels, artwork, contemporary media, as well as film in the search for different – usually competing and mutually exclusive – ideas of Europe.


Europe and Violence

Prof. Dr. P. Kolar / Prof. Dr. W. Heintschel v. Heinegg / Dr. J. Behrends

This course consists of three parts that are especially designed to offer an interdisciplinary approach on the topic of violence in Europe. Historical, poltical and legal perspectives will allow the participants to take a closer look on (armed) conflicts in the past and present, their conditions as well as their impact on contemporary Europe. Besides that the part of the course that refers to public international law will introduce the general framework fo concepts for peace, security and warfare including the necessary background information regarding the legal challenges inherent to modern armed conflicts.


Border(land) Studies: Theories and Empirics

Viadrina Center B/Orders in Motion

The research on borders and boundaries has gained an increasing scholarly attention over the last years. Territorial borders have for decades been consolidated in the Post World War architecture. Nevertheless, current developments such as territorial armed conflicts, the refugee crisis or transnational flows of people, economies and ideologies have contested the national borders in an ambivalent way: In certain policy domains and contexts national borders have lost their significance while on inter-governmental level a re-nationalization tendency can be observed.
In addition to these visible territorial borders, other forms of boundaries exist in societies, spaces, families, biographies, socio-economic contexts and social environments. Examples for this are societal bordering processes (inclusion/exclusion) of ethnic, religious, socio-cultural or linguistic groups.The seminar that is part of the summer school “Ambivalences of Europeanization” will examine different forms of border and boundary making and is based on theoretical considerations and concrete empirical case studies. It is composed by three sessions that encompass four lectures by various speakers (2 hours each).
The first session will deliver the groundwork for the course providing lectures on different approaches in border(land) and boundary studies. In the next session, the emphasis will be put on different forms of political de- and re-bordering processes in Europe and/or the European Union resulting in various level of cross-border integration. The third session will provide empirical cases about socio-cultural boundary-making including linguistic, historical, cultural and social empirical analysis.


Automation, digital revolution and capital concentration

Prof. Dr. J. Lowitzsch


In an age of globalization and technological progress the acceleration of digital information and communication technologies (ICT) has led and continues to lead to social changes which shake the foundations of the world of work, dubbed “industrial revolution 4.0”. This process mainly characterised by automation, robotics and artificial intelligence impacts not only national law and economic systems but also traditional institutions of social existence and such the foundations of our modern societies as such, in Europe as well as across the world. This course investigates the preconditions leading to and the results arising from this process of change in modern societies with a focus on distributive effects.


European Economics

Dr. N. Cherkas

The course covers the main economic aspects of the current development of Europe. It will touch on background of European integration, though its main focus is on the economic analysis of the policies and prospects for the European countries. We will deal with the history and institutions of the European Union, growth aspects, European Monetary and Regional Policy, as well as Trade, Science and Technology and Competition. Moreover, the European Labor Market and Public Debt will be investigated. Recent issues covering the European Union and its standing in International Relations, the challenges of European Enlargement, the demands during the Financial Crisis, the Energy Security issues as well as recent developments due to the Migration towards the European Union will be examined.


Direct Democracy and European Integration

Dr. M. Belov


The course “Direct Democracy and European Integration” is devoted to the presentation and discussion of several important issues of the role of direct democracy in the European multilevel constitutionalism. Is the EU sufficiently democratic? Which are the features of the democratic deficit of the EU? What are the main elements of the emerging supranational constitutionalism in the EU? Will the European constitutionalism remain democratic and what is and will be the shape of the supranational democracy? Does the direct democracy contribute to the “democratization of the democracy” in the EU (C. Offe)? Is it possible to have real direct democracy on the EU level? What is the contribution of the European citizens’ initiative and the elections for European Parliament to the compensation of the democratic deficit of the EU? Which are the national forms of direct democracy provided by the domestic constitutions of the EU member states? Which are the most important instances of national referenda on EU issues and did they contribute to the strengthening of the democratic features of both the EU and the constitutional system of the respective member state?


Ambivalences of Conflict Resolution: The EU´s Responses to Internal and External Conflicts

Institute for Conflict Management

The European Unions raison d´etre as a peace project ending centuries of warfare in Europe has fundamentally shaped its self-understanding as well as its institutional structures and its political role in the European neighborhood and beyond. For instance, the EU has a long history and rich experience as an actor in international mediation and dialogue, ranging from its high-level dialogue facilitation for normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia to supporting grassroots peace work in the Philippines. As many other regional and international organizations it has developed its own mediation support capacity within the European External Action Service. However, the EU´s role as a peacemaker has some ambivalent aspects:
First, on precisely which basis of legitimacy does the EU export its normative (peace) concepts into non-EU conflict countries?
Second, in the light of recent dynamics like the Brexit and popular votes against EU politics: Is it possible that the EU peace project has been prematurely taken for stable and granted, and that a lack in capabilities and structures can be observed to react to internal turbulences and disintegrational dynamics?
Third, and combining these questions, how will an internally weakened EU "toughen up" (EU Commission President Juncker) its foreign policy as a peacemaker, and which role will professional mediation and a potential European army play in this?