Civil Society and European Integration
Full course description
This course provides students with the knowledge to better understand and critically reflect on contemporary European civil society. Building on political theory, the course discusses both the top-down perspective on civil society and the bottom-up perspective. As part of the top-down perspective, the course focuses on how civil society organisations are included in the EU policy-making process. For the bottom-up perspective it pays attention to grassroots movements, including Eurosceptic groups, and their effect on European integration. For the skills training, groups of students provide a policy brief, on behalf of a civil society organisation, as part of the European Commission ongoing only consultations.
- Understand the role of civil society as an actor in the process of European integration, both from a top-down and bottom up perspective, and form a judgment on scholarly arguments, including their implicit assumptions, in debates on civil society;
- Apply relevant conceptual and theoretical approaches from political philosophy and comparative politics, including the concepts of power, influence, governance and culture, and the appropriate research methods to answer advanced academic questions on the role of civil society in the process of European integration;
- Reach well-reasoned conclusions about civil society and European integration through integrating substantive knowledge, theories and methods, and making use of sources and data to build evidence-based arguments, while reflecting on the societal and ethical implications of those conclusions;
- Express ideas and research findings on civil society and European integration to specialist European and international (academic) audiences in written academic English through the medium of an academic paper and a policy brief;
- Autonomously generate new ideas and research questions on civil society and European integration, make substantive choices when analysing these questions, while setting priorities and a workplan within the timeframe of the course;
- Participate in scholarly and policy debates on civil society and European integration, within the international PBL classroom, as well as function in a group setting and work in an international professional environment.
Edwards, M. (2009). Civil Society (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Polity Press.
Greenwood, J., & Dreger, J. (2013). “The Transparency Register: A European vanguard of strong lobby regulation?” Interest Groups & Advocacy, 2, 139–162.
Coen, D., & Vannoni, M. (2016). Sliding doors in Brussels: A career path analysis of EU affairs managers. European Journal of Political Research, 55(4), 811–826.