Economics and Politics of the EU

ISA Seville Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Economics and Politics of the EU

    Course Closed
  • Host University

    ISA Seville Study Center

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Economics, International Economics, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Recommended Prior Knowledge:

    Topics covered in this course require an intermediate knowledge of theories, key actors, policies and case studies pertaining to the fields of Political Science, Economics and International Relations. Prior to registering for this course, it is highly recommended that students have a detailed knowledge of these fields of study in order to fully comprehend course material, classroom discussions and examinations.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    USF Course Code: INR 4931

    Language: English

    Students: foreing students from the academic program ISA

    Contact hours: 45

    I. Course description:

    To the common visitor, Europe is an inviting region for tourism, splendid museums and age-old monuments plus great restaurants. This course will introduce students to a different side of Europe: one that encompasses its tragic and contentious history; defined by 2.000 years of bloodshed, war and genocide that culminated in two of the most devastating wars that humanity has ever seen. We will examine how Europe rose up from the ashes of war to build a highly emulated political structure, along with the origins of the European Single Market and the single-currency monetary system (the euro). We will examine the Brexit endgame (due last Spring), and also focus on the current migration and political crisis of the EU, and its new political dynamics, defined by the rise of anti-EU populist parties across the continent. The recent pandemic-induced recession (2020-21) and the energy and security crises provoked by the Ukraine war (2022) have buffeted the EU institutions and challenged European unity like never before. We will discuss how has Europe coped with both.

    *Recommended prior knowledge:

    Although it’s not mandatory, the students in this course will benefit if they have some previous basic knowledge of concepts, key actors and policies pertaining to the fields of Political Science, Economics, History and International Relations.

    II. Learning outcomes:
    - Summarize the history of European economic and political integration process.
    - Understand the political and economic mechanisms of the UE.
    - Compare different political and policy outcomes between UE and the United States.
    - Critically analyze advantages and disadvantages of EU membership.
    - Evaluate the impact in the EU and in Spain of its membership.
    - Identify main challenges that European Union faces in terms of European feeling, economic and political union and common foreign policy.

    III. Course contents (may be modified):

    PART I

    Unit 1: Why a European Union? History, Culture and Identity in Europe. Rationale for the European project. The rise of Europe from the ashes of WWII. The European Heritage as basis of a common identity. Historical antecedents of a united Europe. The intellectual antecedents of the European ideal. The European ethos. Europe’s complexity and diversity. Who are the Europeans? A quick survey of Europe’s 28 member countries. The fathers of Europe: Winston Churchill, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer.

    Unit 2: The European Institutions. The European construction process: from the Schuman Declaration and the Treaty of Rome to the Maastricht Treaty and beyond. The three pillars of the EU. Timeline: History of European integration and enlargements. Who makes the decisions? The Commission, the Council and the European Parliament.

    Unit 3: Enlargement and accession policy. History of the successive enlargements and assessment of their impact.


    Unit 4: Economic integration I. The Single Market and Brexit. From the Common Market to the Single Market: we analyze the “four freedoms” (goods, services, capital and people) and the depths of economic integration which the Single Market entails. We take a look at Brexit and the dilemmas it creates for Europe’s second largest economy: can Britain retain access to the Single Market without giving up the Brexit referendum requirement to stop European free movement of people (immigration)?

    Unit 5: Economic integration II: The euro. The euro. EMU (Economic and Monetary Union). A detailed analysis of the introduction, impact and workings of the euro. The European Central Bank and monetary policy. The debt and banking crisis in the eurozone: its causes and dynamics. The European project at crossroads: can the euro survive?

    Unit 6: The pandemic crisis (2020) and the energy crisis (2022): the double unprecedented impacts of two consecutive “external shocks” provoked by Covid 19 and the Ukraine invasion have forced the EU into a permanent “crisis resolution mode”. How have the EU institutions responded and the core value and political procedure of “European solidarity” coped with these two shocking and unprecedented blows to the European economy?

    Unit 7: Economic integration III: The European Social Model. Employment and social policy. The Social Charter and the Union’s social legislation. The European workplace and labor markets: the Anglo-Saxon and continental models. Europe’s Social Model in a globalized economy.


    Unit 8: Justice and Home Affairs: Immigration policy. The Schengen Agreements: judicial, police and customs cooperation. Asylum and immigration policy: the challenge of a multicultural society. The European refugee crisis from 2015 to the present.

    Unit 9: The political dynamics of Europe: The populist and nationalist tide threatening the EU. The political dynamics of a Europe in crisis: a) the Eurozone conundrum: Northern creditor nations versus Southern debtor nations; b) nationalist/populist anti-immigration Eastern States (Hungary, Poland) + Italy versus integrationists and pro open-Europe states; and c) the way forward: Fiscal and Political Union. Are Europeans ready for a United States of Europe?

    Unit 10: Common Foreign and Security Policy: the war in Ukraine. Russia’s invasion has upended Europe’s assumptions about the world. The need for a more active and flexible (majority vote) Foreign and Security Policy, plus plans to bring forward a European Army, along with new thinking on “strategic autonomy” in military terms vis-à-vis the US and NATO, and the urgent need to achieve “energy security” (oil and gas) from Russia, are all now urgent concerns. Are Europeans being pushed towards a United States of Europe faster than they thought possible?

    IV. Course Material and Bibliography:

    Course dossier (a collection of reading materials compiled by your lecturer).

    Complementary bibliography:

    - Tony Judt Postwar. A History of Europe since 1945, Penguin Press, 2005.
    - Simon Mercado, Richard Welford and Kate Prescott. European Business. Fourth Edition by Pearson Education Limited (Finantial Times, Prentice Hall), 2001. Harlow, England (U.K.).
    - Jeremy Rifkin, The European Dream: How Europe?s Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004.
    - Enrique Barón, Europa: Pasión y Razón, Biblioteca Nueva, S.L. 2005.
    - Ulrick Beck and Edgar Grande, Cosmopolitan Europe, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2007.
    - Jorge Semprún, Pensar en Europa, Tusquets, Barcelona, 2006.
    - Zygmunt Bauman, Europe: an Unfinished Adventure, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004.

    Course evaluation

    20% Tasks and attendance
    40% Final exam
    30% Projects
    10% Subjective evaluation

    10 = Matrícula de Honor
    9 ? 9,9 = Sobresaliente
    7 ? 8,9 = Notable
    5 ? 6,9 = Aprobado
    0 ? 4,9 = Suspenso
    Attending the course but not taking the exams = No presentado
    Missing class more than permitted = No asistencia

    Instructional Format:
    Course work is comprised of in-class lectures and discussions, group exercises, outside readings, independent group and individual onsite study, and a research project.

    In order to facilitate participation in classroom instruction, students will be required to carefully read assigned selections and complete given activities.

    Final exam:
    The final exam is comprised of questions and exercises that test your abilities in three important areas of competency: the amount of information you master; the accuracy of the information you present; and the significance you ascribe to the facts and ideas you have integrated across your study in this course. The tests shall be completed in class within the two-hour time period. Exam dates are given to students at the beginning of the course and are to be respected.

    Each student will prepare a 3- 4 page typed, double-spaced final paper on an approved topic. Students are required to prepare two drafts. The first draft will be peer edited in class and utilized as a springboard for discussion in pairs. Upon receiving class feedback, students will be expected to modify their papers accordingly. On the final day of class students will hand out their paper. Both copies of the paper need to be handed in that day, along with the peer-editing sheet

    Class Participation: It is expected that all students will be willing to participate actively in the class. The weight of the grading for participation reflects this expectation. Students who simply attend the class but do not participate, will not be awarded points within the participation assessment. Participation entails critically discussing issues emerging from lectures and readings, to develop oral skills, and to construct students´ own perspectives on issues raised. Participation assessment will be based on both the regularity of contributions to discussions, and on the extent to which those contributions reflect students reading and thoughtfulness.

    Class Attendance: class attendance is obligatory, it is checked every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the University.
    An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively.
    If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as ?not attended course?.

    Justified absences: Medical Certificates: certificates will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes.

    English expression
    The students should express themselves -both orally and in writing- in good formal English. Particularly in the written partials and quizzes, as well as the presentations, good academic writing is essential. Bad, sloppy academic writing (misspellings, deficient syntax, etc.) will be penalized.

    Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.

    Tardiness: It is expected that students arrive to class on time and that they return directly to class after any given break. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half absence.

    Class Protocol: Students are required to be involved in class activities. They are expected to show their preparation by participating in discussions, by asking relevant questions, being critical and analytical with the contents presented in class as well as by sharing their ideas and opinions. In class the student is required to maintain a polite demeanour always and under every circumstance. Students are asked not to eat in class and to put their cell phones on silence. With the exception being for class presentations, laptops are not to be used in class.

    Special Accommodations: Students with special needs who require reasonable modifications, special assistance or accommodations in this course (either for properly following-up classes, to take exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first week of the course.

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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