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210091 SE BAK15: East European Studies (2019S)

The Eastern Enlargement of the EU: 15 Years of Integration and Differentiation

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

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Studierende, die der ersten Einheit unentschuldigt fern bleiben, verlieren ihren Platz in der Lehrveranstaltung.

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Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 50 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 07.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 14.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 21.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 28.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 04.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 11.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 02.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 09.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 16.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 23.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 06.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 13.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6
Thursday 27.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 34 Hauptgebäude, Hochparterre, Stiege 6


Aims, contents and method of the course

Aiming to further unite Europe, the Eastern Enlargement had the most significant symbolic weight in the history of European integration. However, after more than 15 years of enlargement towards the East, current developments, marked by multi-speed integration and a renewed East-West divide remain among the most fundamental challenges for the future of the EU.
The seminar will focus on the Eastern Enlargement of the EU, particularly the impact of Europeanization for the region in light on the current political, social, and economic developments. It will provide an overview of the historical evolution of the European Union and the idea of European integration of CEE, a discussion of the political, economic and social dynamics behind these developments and an introduction to the uses of theory in understanding and explaining the integration processes concerning the Eastern Enlargement.
The first part of the seminar will discuss the conceptual elements and core theories of EU (differentiated) integration, the EU political system and the process of Europeanization. The aim is to provide the fundamental theoretical tools for discussing the dynamics of the multi-speed EU governance system and the process of enlargement, within both the general context, as well as the particularities of the CEE region.
The second part specifically focuses on the process of enlargement, the variable geometry of integration and how the different Eastern enlargement waves impacted the national and regional levels through Europeanization processes. The approach will include both the top-down (the impact the EU has on the national arena) and the bottom-up levels (when the national level impact policy making at the EU level). The aim is to examine the particularities of the region and how recent developments (such as the great recession, immigration, and populism surge) reflect in the dynamic between the EU and its CEE members.
The third part of the seminar is more applied and focuses on how the Central and Eastern European member states have responded to the new realities of a multi-speed Europe This section will analyze and provide an in-depth discussion of recent relevant developments from the (CEE) region and contextualize them within the larger EU sphere. Beyond the rejection of the multi-speed solutions, have the CEE member states repositioned regarding the EU? The aim is to discuss the effects of the core-periphery structure and how recent developments of the CEE region reflect this changing dynamic (and divide) between the EU and its member states.
The seminar readings cover key texts on European Integration, Europeanization, Central and Eastern European regional specifics. Participants will acquire an advanced understanding of EU integration, the EU as a political system, with a particular focus on the Central and Eastern European region, as well as the developments within the CEE region and its relationship with the west and the EU.

Over the seminar, the following questions will be answered:
• What is European (differentiated) integration? How is it defined in the literature and how can we understand it as a differentiated system in the present context?
• What are the effects of the Eastern Enlargement: on the EU, its western members and the CEE region? What is the influence of the EU on the CEE region?
• How do the differences and particularities of the CEE region play into the EU enlargement process? How do such differences affect the EU governance system in light of recent challenges and developments?

Assessment and permitted materials

The seminar is set up in a way that students have to prepare given articles and texts prior to each session. Most of the sessions are structured in a way that small working groups discuss the topic at the beginning of the session and subsequently the debate will be shifted to the plenary. The reason for this method is to enable students to participate actively on a constant basis.

Students have to write three essays (max. 1500 words each) over the course of the semester. The purpose of the essays is to deepen the understanding of the articles and link them to the topic of the session. In line with the course structure, one essay needs to be submitted for each part of the seminar.
Apart from the essays (50%), students have to write a midterm take-home exam (40%). The purpose of the exam is to get feedback on the level of understanding of the content of the course covered until the exam. Moreover, two sessions will include a seminar (simulated) conference, which means that students, in groups, have to prepare short presentations of given topics covered in the texts (10%).

Therefore, the final grade consists of three assessments:
1. Three written essays (max. 1500 words) based on the seminar readings and class discussions (50%).
2. Midterm take-home exam consisting of several open questions relating to the seminar content (40%).
3. Student group presentation - based on one of the seminar texts (10%).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Understanding the changes and recent developments of the EU integration process with respect to the Central and Eastern European regional particularities, in accordance with the seminar’s starting question and aims.
Ability to apply general theories of European integration, the EU political system and specifics of the Eastern Enlargement to the current socio-political context.
Abilities in formulating, analyzing and presenting knowledge from the seminar, taking their point of departure in the seminar readings.
Ability to summaries and present an academic text, and answer complex political science questions in writing.
In short written form and through oral presentations, the students should be able to summaries theoretical and practical issues and present their knowledge in an eloquent and understandable way.
In order to receive a positive mark, students have to comply with the mandatory attendance rules (i.e. maximum two missed sessions allowed) and successfully pass each of the assessments. All the assignments are compulsory.

Examination topics

Seminar readings (available on Moodle) and class discussions.

Reading list


Ágh, A. (2014). Decline of democracy in East-Central Europe: The last decade as the lost decade in democratization.
Bache, I., Bulmer, S., George, S., & Parker, O. (2014). Politics in the European Union: Oxford University Press, USA.
Bickerton, C. J., Hodson, D., & Puetter, U. (2015). The New Intergovernmentalism: European Integration in the Post‐Maastricht Era. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 53(4), 703-722.
Börzel, T. A., & Schimmelfennig, F. (2017). Coming together or drifting apart? The EU’s political integration capacity in Eastern Europe. Journal of European Public Policy, 24(2), 278-296.
Börzel, T. A., & Sedelmeier, U. (2016). Larger and more law abiding? The impact of enlargement on compliance in the European Union.
Ceka, B., & Sojka, A. (2016). Loving it but not feeling it yet? The state of European identity after the eastern enlargement. European Union Politics, 17(3), 482-503.
Cini, M., & Borragan, N. P.-S. (2016). European Union Politics: Oxford University Press.
Epstein, R. A., & Jacoby, W. (2014). Eastern Enlargement Ten Years On: Transcending the East–West Divide? JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(1), 1-16.
Grabbe, H. (2014). Six Lessons of Enlargement Ten Years On: The EU's Transformative Power in Retrospect and Prospect. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(s1), 40-56.
Guerra, S. (2013). Central and Eastern European Attitudes in the Face of Union.
Hooghe, L., & Marks, G. (2001). Multi-level Governance and European Integration: Rowman & Littlefield.
Hooghe, M., & Quintelier, E. (2013). Political participation in European countries: The effect of authoritarian rule, corruption, lack of good governance and economic downturn. Comparative European Politics, 12(2), 209-232.
Jones, E., Menon, A., & Weatherill, S. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of the European Union: Oxford University Press.
Leuffen, D., Rittberger, B., & Schimmelfennig, F. (2012). Differentiated Integration: Palgrave Macmillan.
Rupnik, J. (2016). Surging Illiberalism in the East. Journal of democracy, 27(4), 77-87.
Sánchez-Salgado, R. (2014). Europeanizing Civil Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Schimmelfennig, F. (2001). The Community Trap: Liberal Norms, Rhetorical Action, and the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union. International Organization, 55(1), 47-80.
Schimmelfennig, F. (2016). Good governance and differentiated integration: Graded membership in the European Union. European Journal of Political Research, 55(4), 789-810.
Schimmelfennig, F., & Sedelmeier, U. (2005). The Europeanization of Central and Eastern Europe: Cornell University Press.
Sedelmeier, U. (2014). Anchoring Democracy from Above? The European Union and Democratic Backsliding in Hungary and Romania after Accession. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(1), 105-121.
Segert, D. (2013). Understanding the “footprint of state socialism” in east central European post-socialism. Human Affairs, 23(3).
Tismăneanu, V. (2013). Understanding 1989: Civil Society, Ideological Erosion, and Elite Disenchantment. East Central Europe, 40(1-2), 150-155.
Vachudova, M. A. (2014). EU Leverage and National Interests in the Balkans: The Puzzles of Enlargement Ten Years On. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(1), 122-138.
Wiener, A., & Diez, T. (2009). European Integration Theory: Oxford University Press, USA.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:38