Loading...

POLSC323: European Politics

Unit 4: Select Issues in European Politics   In this unit, we delve more deeply into the European integration project.  The European project is a story of some pretty amazing successes.  From its very early beginnings in warfare and Empire through its modern incarnation, no other system of states has managed to come as far as the EU has in terms of shunning old habits of sovereignty and security.  As Director-General for External and Politico-Military Affairs for the EU and noted scholar Robert Cooper  has argued, the Europeans have embraced a very Post Modern sense of being, where states willingly accept "mutual interference" in one another’s affairs.  To explain this differently, rather than solving their issues on the battlefield, each member-state willing allows its neighbor a vote on how to handle its affairs.  This, of course, does not mean the Europeans have entered into a post-political world.  Rather, if anything, issues that would not normally be political in nature have become hyper-political.

As we draw this course to a conclusion, we will look at a snapshot of some of the most pressing issues in European Politics today.  For example, much of post-industrial Western Europe is experiencing a graying of the population that threatens to bankrupt the social systems that helped draw Europeans through the Cold War.  With populations growing older and birth rates declining, many of these states are experiencing a surge in minority populations that have been traditionally isolated from mainstream European life.  Further confounding these demographic trends is the blurring of the political lines of the EU, which has allowed the free movement of cheap labor from Eastern Europe into the heart of western European society.

Setting aside demographic and social pressures, Europe is also experiencing renewed security threats that have evolved in our more globalized society.  Terrorism and transnational crime, while not new, have taken on new meaning in the age of the Global War on Terror and easier access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  Tensions in the Middle East and missile proliferation issues find their centers literally on Europe's front door, even as Europe feels the pinch from the much tighter energy market that exists in the twenty-first century.  While no one seriously expects major war to break out in Europe in the foreseen future, the Europeans find themselves needed in the quest to keep a more secure international environment. 

We conclude the course with perhaps the most pressing of issues in European politics today: What does it mean to be a European in the modern world?  How much of the nation-state are Europeans willing to give up in order to form this new identity as a European?  And finally, what role should Europe play in the international environment?  The adoption and implementation of the answers to these questions constitute the substance of European Union policy making in the twenty-first century.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 12.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 4.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 4.4: 3 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify critical demographic trends in Europe that are posing public policy challenges to the social democratic model of inclusion and integration of growing minorities within the existing national communities of Europe.
  • Assess the economic and political capacities of the advanced social democratic welfare state in Europe to continue to provide for the political participatory, representational and social justice demands of the peoples of Europe, cooperating within the framework of the European Union.  
  • Critique the contemporary security challenges to the economic and political welfare of the peoples of the European Union, which have their roots before the end of the Cold War but which now occupy center stage among European security concerns.
  • Discuss trends in future European political development which promote or challenge the emergence of a common European identity among the peoples of the European Union, evaluating its relationship to existing regional and national European identities that have been a foundation of European democratic cooperation and competition to the present.  

4.1 Demographics   4.1.1 Demographic Trends across Europe   - Reading: Rainer Muenz’s “Aging and Demographic Change in European Societies: Main Trends and Alternative Policy Options” Link: Rainer Muenz’s “Aging and Demographic Change in European Societies: Main Trends and Alternative Policy Options” (PDF)

 Also available in:  

[EPUB](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Polsc323-4.1.1-Muenz-epub.epub)  
    
 Instructions: Scroll down to the “download the selected file”
button, click on the button to download the PDF, and read the
article in its entirety (38 pages).  This text describes the drastic
aging of the European population which will occur over the next 40
years, while Europe already has the lowest fertility rate in the
world.  The decline in the proportion of the taxpaying workforce to
retirees receiving extended government pension and medical benefits
poses a major social, economic and immigration policy challenge to
Europe.   
    
 Terms of Use: This material has been hosted with the kind
permission of Rainer Muenz.

4.1.2 Minority Population Trends   - Reading: The Telegraph: Adrian Michaels’ “Muslim Europe: the Demographic Time Bomb Transforming our Continent” Link: The Telegraph: Adrian Michaels’ “Muslim Europe: the Demographic Time Bomb Transforming our Continent” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this news article, which covers the rate of Muslim minority population growth in Europe, in its entirety.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.3 Migration Trends   - Reading: Migration Policy Institute: Arno Tanner’s “The Roma of Eastern Europe: Still Searching for Inclusion” Link: Migration Policy Institute: Arno Tanner’s “The Roma of Eastern Europe: Still Searching for Inclusion” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the article in its entirety.  The Roma are currently the largest minority in Europe, and they are present in all European countries.  Traditionally living as nomads, as a group, they have experienced centuries of marginalization and segregation since their migration into Europe from Asia began several centuries ago.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.4 Integration and Assimilation Issues   - Reading: Newsweek: Stefan Theil’s “Europe’s Big Choice” Link: Newsweek: Stefan Theil’s “Europe’s Big Choice” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article in its entirety (3 pages).  Use the “Next” button at the end of the text to navigate to each subsequent page.  This article highlights the importance of migration for Europe’s continued economic development while facing resistance from rising xenophobia in European societies.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.2 Political Culture   4.2.1 Religious Attitudes   - Reading: Euractiv: “European Values and Identity” Link: Euractiv: “European Values and Identity” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on the above link to the Euractiv website, and read the entire text, which summarizes the debate about the relationship of religion to European identity and European integration. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.2 Civil Society   - Reading: The University of Nottingham: Nick Stevenson’s “European Cosmopolitanism and Civil Society” Link: The University of Nottingham: Nick Stevenson’s “European Cosmopolitanism and Civil Society” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the PDF icon to download the file, and read the entire article (20 pages).  This article highlights the interdependent relationship between the construction of European Union-wide institutions and the evolution of a European Union-wide orientation within EU society towards a focus on these institutions in constructing the rights and responsibilities inherent in EU citizenship.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.3 The European Welfare State   - Reading: Tilburg University’s Repository: W.J.H. van Oorschot, M. Opielka, and B. Pfau-Effinger’s “The Culture of the Welfare State: Historical and Theoretical Arguments” Link: Tilburg University’s Repository: W.J.H. van Oorschot, M. Opielka, and B. Pfau-Effinger’s “The Culture of the Welfare State: Historical and Theoretical Argument” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the hyperlink listed after “URL,” and read the article in its entirety (26 pages).  This article summarizes the debate over whether national culture determines the politics over the policies and structures of the welfare state, versus whether politics, policies and structures determine national culture in the industrial and post-industrial era of national development.  The article concludes that European welfare state politics, policies and structures are still primarily determined by European national cultures. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.4 Electoral Availability and Parties   - Reading: Central European University’s Department of Public Policy: N. Sitter’s “Opposing Europe: Euro-Scepticism, Opposition and Party Competition” Link: Central European University’s Department of Public Policy: N. Sitter’s “Opposing Europe: Euro-Scepticism, Opposition and Party Competition”(PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to the bottom of the webpage, click on the hyperlink after “Link,” and read the article (29 pages).  This article, published by a major EU research institution, highlights how opposition to deepening and widening of European integration has become a foundational position of European political party opposition to the government in EU member states.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.5 Human Development and Income Distribution   - Reading: United Nations Development Program: Human Development Reports: Kitty Stewart’s “Human Development in Europe” Link: United Nations Development Program: Human Development Reports: Kitty Stewart’s “Human Development in Europe” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down the webpage to the “Regional Studies” section.  Then click on the hyperlink for Kitty Stewart’s article titled “Human Development in Europe” to download the PDF file.  Read this article in its entirety (73 pages) for a summary of the impressive achievements in individual human development opportunities for all the people of Europe since the fall of Communism. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.6 Social Cohesion   - Reading: The Western University of Ontario’s Department of Sociology: W. Omariba’s “Social Cohesion in Europe: A Bibliography” Link: The Western University of Ontario’s Department of Sociology: W. Omariba’s “Social Cohesion in Europe: A Bibliography” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please scroll down to the 2002 Papers and Publications section about half way down the webpage.  Click on the “Full Paper” hyperlink for the title “Social Cohesion in Europe: A Bibliography” to download the PDF file.   Read the entire paper (20 pages) as a summary of research on sociological trends in Europe by a number of European research projects, focusing on the impact of globalization and EU economic and monetary union on tendencies towards harmonization of social welfare policies.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3 European Security Issues   4.3.1 Energy Concerns   - Reading: Policy Archive: Library of Congress: Steven Woehral’s “The European Union’s Energy Security Challenges” Link: Policy Archive: Library of Congress: Steven Woehral’s “The European Union’s Energy Security Challenges” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the “View Publication” button on the right side of the webpage, and read the entire article (25 pages).  This article provides an overview of efforts by the European Union member states to coordinate their policies to increase their leverage and influence over energy suppliers to decrease their vulnerability as European energy imports steadily increase well into the twenty-first century.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3.2 Terrorism   - Reading: EuroMesco: Francesca Galli’s “The Legal and Political Implications of the Securitisation of Counter-Terrorism Measures across the Mediterranean” Link: EuroMesco: Francesca Galli’s “The Legal and Political Implications of the Securitisation of Counter-Terrorism Measures across the Mediterranean” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the “Full text in PDF” link, and read the document (33 pages).  This paper highlights the interactive development between the EU’s internal security policy and its international policy towards Middle East states whose internal and external political conflicts create conditions conducive for the emergence of militant non-state actors pursuing their political objectives through violence means against non-military targets in the European Union.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3.3 Transnational Crime and Illicit Trade   - Reading: University of Pittsburgh’s Archive of European Integration: Nuray V. Ibryamova's "Security, Borders, and the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union" Link: University of Pittsburgh’s Archive of European Integration: Nuray V. Ibryamova's "Security, Borders, and the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union" (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the above link to go to the website, and then click on “Download” to access the PDF file.  Please read the article in its entirety (20 pages).  This text covers EU policies to strengthen EU border control capabilities in the face of challenges from transnational organized crime networks and other challenges stemming from enlargement.  The EU must come up with comprehensive, integrated policies for strengthening its internal security in order to avoid undermining the liberal values which are the foundation for European integration.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3.4 Nuclear Proliferation   - Reading: ISIS Europe: Dr. Gerrard Quille and Dr. Stephen Pullinger’s “The European Union: Tackling the Threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction” Link: ISIS Europe: Dr. Gerrard Quille and Dr. Stephen Pullinger’s “The European Union: Tackling the Threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the PDF icon next to the last ISIS report, entitled “The European Union: Tackling the Threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction.”  Please read the entire article (24 pages).  In this article, the authors critique the EU’s policy toward nuclear proliferation following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US and the announcement of the EU’s ‘fight against terrorism’ while attempting to act as a multilateral institution with 2 member states, UK and France, who refuse to disarm their own nuclear weapons arsenal.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3.5 External Threats   - Reading: ECPR: European International Standing Group: Laura Dibb’s “The Evolution of European Security Identity in EC/EU Institutions in the (Post-) Cold War Period” Link: ECPR: European International Standing Group: Laura Dibb’s “The Evolution of European Security Identity in EC/EU Institutions in the (Post-) Cold War Period” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down the webpage about half way to the article titled “The Evolution of European Security Identity in EC/EU Institutions in the (Post-) Cold War Period” by Laura Dibb.  Click on the hyperlink of the title to download the PDF file, and read the entire document (28 pages).  This essay summarizes the relationship of the European integration project to the perceived Cold War perceived threat from the Soviet Union to create institutions and interests that help drive the evolution of the EU security project today, 20 years after the Cold War.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4 A European Identity   4.4.1 Evolution or Devolution?   - Reading: The University of Manchester’s Department of Government: “MANCHESTER PAPERS IN POLITICS: Devolution and European Policy” Link: The University of Manchester’s Department of Government: “MANCHESTER PAPERS IN POLITICS: Devolution and European Policy: Regional actors and European policy making: lessons for the UK?” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down the webpage to the first result, and click on the link titled “MANCHESTER PAPERS IN POLITICS: Devolution and European Policy: Regional actors and European policy making: lessons for the UK?” to download the PDF file.  Please read the entire document (16 pages).  This paper summarizes the relationship of European Union-level policy making to the regional governments of Germany, Belgium, and Spain.  Belgium and Spain’s constitutional devolution of central authority has occurred within the context of European integration, whereas German’s “Basic Law” constitution was established before the EU was formally established.  Consequently, the United Kingdom’s own movements towards devolution should comparatively examine these cases to guide its direction.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.2 Discovering the Dual Identity; State and Europe   - Reading: IWM: Avraham Rot's "Constructing Identity and Embracing Boredom in United Europe" Link: IWM: Avraham Rot's "Constructing Identity and Embracing Boredom in United Europe” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above web link to read the article.  The article highlights the problem of lack of European national public self-identification with the institutions of the European Union.  The “boredom,” which results in lower European political participation rates in EU elections, is not necessarily an indication of a failure to create a European identity community, and European political theorists have noted that the rise of technocratic politics in complex modern societies produces an apathy that is at least peaceful.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.3 A Question of Democracy   - Reading: European Institute of Public Administration: Edward Best and Frank Lambermont’s "Citizen Involvement in EU Policies: Impossible Dream or Work in Progress?" Link: European Institute of Public Administration: Edward Best and Frank Lambermont’s "Citizen Involvement in EU Policies: Impossible Dream or Work in Progress?" (PDF)

 Instructions: Click on the link above, which will take you to the
homepage of the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). 
Use the search bar at the top right hand corner of the webpage to
search for: “Citizen Involvement in EU Policies.”  The article by
Best and Lambermont should appear immediately.  Download in PDF to
read.  

 Then, read the entire article for a better understanding of the
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) and its effects on European
integration. The article raises specific questions about the effects
of citizens’ initiatives on the European Union, and broader
questions about the ability of citizens initiatives to address the
"democratic deficit" of the European Union.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.4 A Europe in the World   - Reading: Alexandra Giroux's "A Europe of Cultures or a Culture of Europe?" Link: Alexandra Giroux's "A Europe of Cultures or a Culture of Europe?" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short article.  This article highlights that Europe’s strong regional and national identities are not going to fade.  Rather, a new community identity based upon Europe as a regional territorial community with a commitment to multicultural diversity as an organizing principle will and must be the basis for constructing a European people: a demos. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.