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OCEU 2020 - The EU, a Model for Other International Groupings?

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The course will seek to provide students both with a better understanding of the EU's specificities as well as its comparable features with regards to other regional organizations. The first part of the course is dedicated to a series of lectures reflecting a two-pronged structure: on the one hand, an assessment of recent insights associated with EU Studies and its relationship to other non-European experiences of regional cooperation; and on the other, an exploration of recent developments in the fields of Comparative Regionalism and Interregionalism. The first set of lectures will thus unpack the EU's functioning with a an eye on highlighting the various facets which can be used in a comparative analysis of the EU and any other given regional entity; whereas the second set of lectures will focus on the theoretical and methodological implication of comparative regionalism. The second part of the class is dedicated to a series of group presentation where students are invited to analyze and discuss a regional grouping of their choosing other than the European Union. Presentations will be fueled by group-discussions with the goal of fostering shared comparative insights on each chosen regional grouping. The final component of the course is a simulation of an inter-regional negotiation involving the EU and another regional grouping of the class' choosing. This exercise will be prepared throughout the term as students will work in group with the help of the course instructor to refine their simulated positions.


PONJAERT, Frederik (Research Associate IEE-ULB & KULeuven)

Pedagogical format

The first part of the course (on the specificities of the EU and comparative regionalism) is given as a series of lectures covering a total of 8 hours. Each of these 4 two-hour sessions will start with a discussion of an assigned reading, followed by an ex cathedra lecture on key concept and references and ending with a Q&A session. The goal of this first part is to equip all students with a shared knowledge of the EU and mastery of the comparative tools needed to confront it with other regional experiences. The course's second part is articulated around 30min student group presentations on a given regional grouping of their choosing. Each of these two-hour sessions will be dedicated to a given regional grouping other than the EU. The list of regional groupings addressed in class will depend on the choices made by the students at the start of the semester. Each regional grouping will be the object of: a group presentation of up to 40min, an assigned reading to be prepared before coming to class and an open class discussion. Each presentation will be given by a group of 2-4 students analyzing the regional grouping of their choosing. The groups and their topics will be set at the start of the second course. The final component of the course is to be agreed upon by the end of the first class in light of the group's preferences. Students can collectively opt for one of two possible more personal contributions: a three hour simulation of a given inter-regional negotiation the EU is currently engaged in, where the he class will be divided into two groups (the EU and the partner regional grouping) with each student taken on the role of one the negotiations' actors. After preparing the groups position over the course of a few weeks, the class will simulate negotiations over the course of 3 hours ; a personal book review of one of the course's background references, where the students will write up a short (one page) assessment of the publication's strengths and weakness and discuss this in class alongside his / her peers.

Course validation

Assessment will be done on the basis of three variables, where each component of the overall grade is to reflect a given dimension of the course: individual student paper (50% overall grade) to be submitted by the end of term ; class participation (25% overall grade) reflected in the reading preparations and group presentations ; personal Input (25% overall grade): either contribution to the final simulation or book review.


Specific obligations: attendance and preparing a single designated reading per session, preparing a single group presentation, preparing a given role within a simulation OR writing a book review, writing a single term paper on a given regional grouping of your choice. Objectives: acquisition and mastery of the theoretical components of the course (i.e. the lecture cycle) implies attendance and active listing during the initial series of lectures. Ultimately this is to be assessed by a way of a single individual student paper to be handed in by the end of the course. Students are free to opt for any relevant topic of their choosing. Two scheduled “student paper workshop” will where need be provide the students with guidance regarding topic selection and the writing of the paper ; active class participation throughout is expected and will be an integral part of the students evaluation The lion share of knowledge acquisition will be done within the classroom setting. Any take-home work will either see the students apply the presented knowledge to a case study of their choosing, or encourage them to apply the theoretical knowledge in a more practical setting. Overall, students will receive three take-home tasks which will require some dedicated work outside of classroom setting: a group presentation on a given regional organization; an individual research paper on a question and hypothesis of their choosing; and depending on class' preference ; either the position paper detailing their role within the simulation or the book review. Throughout the spring term, the individual research paper should require a bit more than 6 hours of research and writing work; the group presentation and readings should involve no more than 3 hours each. Depending on the class' choice, the simulation or book review will involve about 3hours of either group or individual work.

Required reading

  • Risse, T. (Ed.). (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism. Oxford University Press
  • Telò, M., Fawcett, L., & Ponjaert, F. (Eds.). (2015). Interregionalism and the European Union: A Post-Revisionist Approach to Europe's Place in a Changing World. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd

Additional required reading

  • Telò, M. (Ed.). (2016). Regionalism in Hard Times: Competitive and post-liberal trends in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Routeldge
  • Acharya, A. (2014). The end of American world order. John Wiley & Sons
  • Telò, M. (Ed.). (2014). Globalisation, multilateralism, Europe: towards a better global governance? Ashgate Publishing, Ltd
  • Telò, M. (Ed.). (2013). European Union and new regionalism: regional actors and global governance in a post-hegemonic era. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd
  • Lombaerde, P. D., Söderbaum, F., Van Langenhove, L., & Baert, F. (2010). The problem of comparison in comparative regionalism. Review of International Studies, 36(03), 731-753
  • Telò, M. (Ed.). (2009). The European Union and global governance. Routledge
  • Hänggi, H., Roloff, R., & Rüland, J. (Eds.). (2006). Interregionalism and international relations. London: Routledge
  • Söderbaum, F., Shaw T (Eds.) (2003) Theories of New Regionalism, A Palgrave Macmillan Reader
  • Hurrell, A., & Fawcett, L. L. E. (Eds.). (1998). Regionalism in world politics: regional organization and international order. Oxford University Press