Mike Rossi


Actual Position

Courses » The European Union » Syllabus

Content: The European Union: Syllabus


  • Description
  • Syllabus
  • Multimedia
  • Evaluations

Grading Weights

Students’ overall evaluation will be determined by the following criteria:

Work Result Wheight Due
Two take-home exams 50% (25% each) Session XXX and session XXX
Take-home Final exam 30% Session XXX
Map Quiz 5% Scheduled session XXX
Class participation 15% All sessions (20 points accumulated throughout the semester)
Due Dates

All class assignments must be submitted in hard copy and uploaded to the university online plattform. Late papers will result in a deduction of 1/3 of a grade each day they are late. This includes weekends. You may upload your late paper to halt any additional penalties, but it must be followed up with a hard copy. There are no extensions.

Take-home Exams


Final Exam


Map Quiz



Class participation is accumulated throughout the semester in the form of class discussion, unannounced quizzes, and/or specific questions discussed with the instructor through email or office hours.

Provided Work Material

The following may be purchased from the College bookstore or online:

All other readings and assignments are available for .pdf download via the university online plattform.

Session Content
Course Introduction
Session 1

Taking Cultural Preferences Seriously in Political Science

  • Read the syllabus, buy the textbook, familiarize yourself with website
Session 2

The Situation in the Last Six Months

  • Adam Davidson, Jacob Goldstein, and Caitlin Kenney, “Europe’s Financial Crisis in Plain English”, The New York Times, November 30, 2011
  • “How the Euro Became Europe’s Greatest Threat”, Spiegel Online, June 20, 2011
  • Stefan Kaiser, “Growing Worries in Athens: A Greek Default would hit the ECB Hard”, Spiegel Online, January 13,2012
  • Rachel Donadio and Niki Kitsantonis, “As Reforms Flag in Greece, Europe Aims to Limit Damage”, The New York Times, January 15, 2012
  • Sarah Lyall, “Cameron Says his Veto on Europe Treaty Protects Britain”, The New York Times, December 12, 2011
  • Stephen Castle, “Europeans Planning for Less Unanimity”, The New York Times, January 2, 2012
  • “A False Dawn”, The Economist, January 14, 2012
Part I: Theoretical and Historical Components of EU Development

Session 3

From Coal and Steel to Economic Union

  • Ginsberg, ch. 1: “Unity and Disunity”, pp. 39 – 57
  • Ginsberg, ch .2: “Theory and Practice of Modern European Integration”, pp. 63 – 89
  • John Plender, “How Goethe’s Masterpiece is Shaping Europe”, The Financial Times, December 29, 2011
Session 4

Integration as a Rational Choice

  • Andrew Moravcsik, The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastrict (Cornell University Press, 1998), ch 1: “Theorizing European Integration”, pp. 18 – 85
Part II: Institutional Components of the European Union
Session 5 - 6

Basic Structures of the EU

  • Ginsberg, “Part II: The European Union in Practice”, pp. 125 – 129
  • Ginsberg, ch. 4: “The Contents and Actors of EU Governmental Decisionmaking”, pp. 131 – 142
  • Ginsberg, ch. 5: “Inside EU Governmental Decisionmaking”, pp. 143 – 196
  • Ginsberg, ch. 6: “The Outputs of EU Governmental Decisionmaking”, pp. 197 – 243
  • Christoph Hickmann and Christoph Schult, “The Struggle to Give the European Parliament Clout”, Spiegel Online, January 12, 2012
Session 6 - 7

The Transition into the Power/Mess/Powerful Mess/Messy Power

  • Mark Gilbert, Surpassing Realism: The Politics of European Integration since 1945 (Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003), ch. 6: “The 1992 Initiative and the Single European Act”, pp. 155 – 186
  • Gilbert, Surpassing Realism, ch. 7: “The Maastricht Compromise”, pp. 187 – 224
  • “Two-Speed Europe or Two Europes?” The Economist, November 10, 2011
  • Carsten Volkery, “Birth of a Two-Speed Europe”, Spiegel Online, December 9, 2011
  • Stephen Erlanger and Liz Alderman, “Chronic Pain for the Euro”, The New York Times, December 11, 2011
  • Thomas Landon Jr., “Whispers of Return to Drachma Grow Louder in Greek Crisis”, The New York Times, November 1, 2011
  • Nicholas Kulish, “No Fireworks for Euro as it Reaches the 10-Year Mark”, New York Times, December 31, 2011

*** Map Quiz Week 7 ***

Part III: The EU as Exogenous Factor: Public Perceptions and Institutional Incentives
Session 7

Theories of Collective Memory

  • Eric Hobsbawm, “The Social Formation of the Past: Some Questions” Past and Present, no. 55 (May, 1972), pp. 3 – 17
  • Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso Press, 1991), ch. 5: “Old Languages, New Models”, pp. 67 – 82

*** First Writing Assignment Due Week 7 ***

Session 8 - 9

Europhiles and Euroskeptics: Public Opinion on Form and Function

  • Ginsberg, ch. 8: “The Internal Dimension of European Integration”, pp. 293 – 315
  • Simon Hix, The Political System of the European Union (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2010), ch. 5: “Public Opinion”, pp. 105 – 129
  • Simon Hix, Political System of the European Union, ch. 6: “Democracy, Parties, and Elections”, pp. 130 – 158
  • Alistair MacDonald and Cassell Bryan-Low, “U.K. Ambivalence Towards EU Grows” The Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2012
  • “Europe Shudders at Germany’s New-Found Power”, Spiegel Online, December 6, 2011

*** First Exams Due Week 8 ***

Session 9 - 10

Carrots and Sticks: The European Union and Post-Communist Europe

  • Milada Anna Vachudova, Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage, and Integration After Communism (Oxford University Press, 2005), ch. 3: “The Passive Leverage of the European Union”, pp. 63 – 79
  • Milada Anna Vachudova, Europe Undivided, ch. 5: “The Active Leverage of the European Union”, pp. 105 – 138
  • Ginsberg, ch. 7: “European Union Foreign Policy”, pp. 267-274
  • Suzanne Daley and Stephen Castle, “As European Union Beckons, Allure Fades for Wary Croatia”, The New York Times, January 17, 2012
  • Josip Glaurdi?, “Serbia and the EU Reach a Stalemate”, al Jazeera, December 27, 2012
Part IV: The European Union and the “Democratic Deficit” Debates
Weeks 11- 12

Economic Union at the Cost of Democratic Transparency?

  • Alex Warleigh, Democracy in the European Union: Theory, Practice and Reform (London: Sage Publications, 2003), ch. 1: “Introductory Overview: The ‘Democratic Deficit’ and the Normative Turn in European Union Studies”, pp. 1 – 28
  • Thomas D. Zweifel, Democratic Deficit? Institutions and Regulation in the European Union, Switzerland, and the United States in Comparative Perspective (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002), ch. 2: “Democratic Deficit Arguments”, pp. 11 – 44
  • Alex Warleigh, Democracy in the European Union, ch. 6: “Demos Construction: The Arrested Development of European Citizenship”, pp. 109 – 120
  • Louise Story and Matthew Saltmarsh, “Reluctantly, Europe Inches Closer to a Fiscal Union”, The New York Times, September 5, 2011
  • Suzane Daley and James Kanter, “Finland’s Turn to the Right Sends Shivers Through Eurozone”, The New York Times, April 15, 2011
  • Stephen Erlanger, “Political Test for Austerity in Greek Turmoil”, The New York Times, November 1, 2011
  • Stephen Castle, “European Union Acts to Halt Hungarian Laws”, The New York Times, January 17, 2012
Weeks 12 - 14 

Widening and Deepening: Expansion, Fatigue, Recession, and Adaptation

  • Ginsberg, ch 10: “Conclusions”, pp. 345 – 349
  • Paul Krugman, “Can Europe Be Saved?” The New York Times, January 12, 2011
  • Stanley Pignal et al, “Europe’s Core and Periphery Face Different Jobs”, The Financial Times, January 3, 2012
  • Wolfgang Münchau, “After the Downgrades comes the Downward Spiral”, The Financial Times, January 15, 2012
  • Stephen King, “The Eurozone’s Three Deadly Sins”, The Financial Times, January 16, 2012
  • “Phoenix Europe: How the EU Can Emerge from the Ashes”, Spiegel Online, November 18, 2011
  • Thomas Darnstaedt et al, “The Great Leap Forward: In Search of a United Europe”, Spiegel Online, November 24, 2011
  • Darnstaedt et al, “Citizens of the EU: How to Forge a Common European Identity”, Spiegel Online, December 2, 2011

*** Second Exams Due Week 14 ***

Week 15

Concluding Remarks

  • Course wrap-up, last minute questions, course evaluations
  • Take-home final exam questions distributed

*** Final Exam due day of scheduled exam ***


©Michael Rossi – http://michael-rossi.demokratio.info