Spring 2023 - 60270 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy


Over the past half-century, the European Union (EU) has become the most advanced example of regional integration and pooling of sovereignty in the world. As it has evolved, the EU has not only taken over many internal legislative and regulatory functions from its constituent member states, it has also started to behave as an international actor in its own right. This course examines the ways in which the peculiar attributes of the EU influence the way it behaves on the international stage, analyzes the specific policies it pursues in different regions of the world, and studies the obstacles it faces due to current challenges in Europe.

We begin with a brief crash course on the EU’s history, institutional development, and current external policy architecture. Then we explore the predicaments the EU faces due to its status as neither a state, nor a traditional international organization. We investigate how the EU can ensure it acts coherently, develops capabilities to enact its preferences, and is viewed as a legitimate international actor by other players in the international arena. The class then turns to specific areas of EU external policies, to illustrate these dilemmas through concrete examples. Many of these tackle the EU’s neighborhood: its policies toward the Southern Mediterranean, the Balkans and Ukraine. Others will address more topical policies such as the EU’s development policies, its role in international trade and global security, or its influence on multilateral rules and institutions. At the end of the course, we will survey current challenges facing Europe, and discuss ways the migration crisis, political instability and the Brexit vote may influence the future of the EU as a global actor.

Instruction Mode