Challenges to European Integration in the 21st Century
Undergraduate seminar, University of Mannheim
Fall 2016

This course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of day-to-day politics in the European Union and the theoretical insights, analytical skills and research tools necessary to assess contemporary challenges to European integration. We will survey EU’s institutional structure and policy-making and analyse issues such as the low electoral participation in the European Parliament elections, the rise of Euroskepticism, the legitimacy of law-making via informal institutions, the effectiveness of national parliaments in scrutinizing EU legislation, differentiated integration and variable compliance with EU decisions among member states, the consequences and prospects of EU enlargement as well as the democratic deficit of the Union. We will further critically assess major issues facing EU policy-makers in recent years, such as the euro crisis, refuge crisis and Brexit referendum, and reflect on the future of European integration.

Academic Research and Writing
Undergraduate tutorial, University of Mannheim
Fall 2016

This seminar will teach you how to read academic texts critically and efficiently, how to write papers required for your courses, and how to do oral presentations. The seminar will walk you through the important stages of researching and writing about a subject that interests you, from choosing a topic, through narrowing down your interest in the form of a research question and finding relevant literature, to making a research plan. In addition to this, you will learn how to use library resources and cite correctly your references. To help acquiring these skills you will be assigned a number of small home exercises.

European Union Politics
Undergraduate seminar, University of Mannheim
Fall 2015

This advanced undergraduate-level seminar offers an introduction to the state of the art analytical literature on the European Union. We will examine the functioning and interplay of the EU institutions, focusing on the process of EU law making. At a theoretical level, the course will familiarize students with analytical and spatial models of decision-making (and the importance of agenda setting, veto power and gate-keeping), legislative organization, bicameralism, executive-legislative relations, party politics, etc. At an empirical level, we will revisit selected analyses of EU policy-making. Students will engage in conducting innovative case studies tracking the development and explaining the outcome of single legislative proposals. We will conclude with assessing the future of the EU in light of the recent crises.

International Politics
Graduate lecture, University of Mannheim
Spring 2015

This course introduces students into the main topics of international politics, such as the analysis of international cooperation and international organizations, the theory of democratic peace, and the causes and consequences of inter-state wars, more generally, and civil and ethnic wars, more specifically. The goal of the course is not merely to familiarize students with the core theoretical and empirical literature on these topics, but also to provide them with the basic analytical concepts and techniques that are essential in understanding international politics.

European Parliament
Undergraduate seminar, University of Mannheim
Fall 2014

This course provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of legislative politics in the European Parliament (EP) and its role in EU policy-making. At a theoretical level, the topics cover major approaches to the study of legislative behaviour, organisation and decision making borrowed primarily from the literature on the US Congress. At an empirical level, the examined readings evaluate the implications of legislators’ electoral, policy and career goals for their legislative behaviour; the role of EP organisation (political parties, committees and rules); the consequences of gate-keeping, agenda setting and veto power as well as bicameralism for decision-making in the EU; and the parliamentary oversight of the EU executive. At a normative level, it is assessed whether and how the Parliament helps solving the democratic deficit problem of the Union.

Academic Research and Writing
Undergraduate tutorial, University of Mannheim
Fall 2014

This seminar will teach you how to read academic texts critically and efficiently, how to write papers required for your courses, and how to do oral presentations. The seminar will walk you through the important stages of researching and writing about a subject that interests you, from choosing a topic, through narrowing down your interest in the form of a research question and finding relevant literature, to making a research plan. In addition to this, you will learn how to use library resources and cite correctly your references. To help acquiring these skills you will be assigned a number of small home exercises.

EU Integration and Policy-Making
Undergraduate lecture, University of Mannheim
Spring 2014

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the development, institutional structure, functioning and policies of the European Union. The first part of the course positions the EU political system in a comparative perspective and offers an overview of various theories of integration and policy-making, the role and internal organization of the EU institutions as well as the main procedures and modes of inter-institutional decision-making. The second part of the course turns to the powers and legislative output of the EU in selected policy fields. The course will conclude with an evaluation of the economic challenges and democratic deficit problems the EU faces today and a discussion of the Union’s future.

Coalition Government
Undergraduate seminar, University of Mannheim
Spring 2014

Party coalitions form the backbone of governments in modern parliamentary democracies, whereas single party governments are the exception rather than the rule. How do party coalitions come about? How do institutional structures such as parliamentary committees, shadow ministries and the prime minister help enforce coalition agreements and keep coalition partners together? Conversely, what explains the duration and ultimate breakdown of coalition governments? In this course, we will address these questions by studying various theories of coalition formation, governance and duration and how to analyze these theories.

European Union Politics
Graduate research seminar, University of Mannheim
Fall 2012

This graduate-level research seminar offers an introduction to the state of the art analytical research on the European Union. We will examine the functioning and interplay of the EU institutions, focusing on the process of EU law making. At a theoretical level, the course will familiarize students with analytical and spatial models of decision-making (and the importance of agenda setting, veto power and gate-keeping), legislative organization, bicameralism, executive-legislative relations, and party politics. At an empirical level, we will revisit selected quantitative analyses as well as qualitative case studies of EU policy-making. Students will engage in either replicating and extending existing research, or conducting innovative case studies tracking the development and explaining the outcome of single legislative proposals. We will conclude with assessing the effectiveness of the EU political structure in addressing the current economic crisis.

The Politics of Reform in Central and Eastern Europe
Graduate course, University of Mannheim
Spring 2012

This is a graduate-level seminar covering topics on comparative politics, political economy and international relations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) since the fall of Communism. We will, first, briefly explore the historic development and fall of the Communist regime in various CEE countries. We will then turn to the core topic of this course – the dual transition to democracy and free market economy in these countries. At a theoretical level, each week we will discuss a different aspect of democratic political systems (such as cleavages, civil society, party competition, electoral system, electoral behaviour, political institutions and policy-making) and what we know about it from comparative research on Western democracies. At an empirical level, we will then evaluate to what extent established theories can explain the experiences of post-communist countries, which had to swiftly reshape their political systems and liberalise their economies in the past two decades. Current topics on the accession of CEE countries into the European Union and the Euro-zone will be discussed in the third part of the course, reviewing the literature on the accession conditionality, EU compliance and Euroskepticism.

Legislative Politics: The European Parliament and EU Policy-Making
Graduate course, University of Mannheim
Spring 2011

This course provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of legislative politics with a focus on the European Parliament (EP) and its role in EU policy-making. At a theoretical level, the topics cover major approaches to the study of legislative behaviour, organisation and decision making borrowed primarily from the literature on the US Congress. At an empirical level, the examined readings evaluate the implications of legislators’ electoral, policy and career goals for their legislative behaviour; the role of the EP organisation (political parties, committees and rules); the consequences of gate-keeping, agenda setting and veto power as well as bicameralism for decision-making in the EU; and the parliamentary oversight of the EU executive. At a normative level, it is assessed whether and how the Parliament helps solving the democratic deficit problem of the Union.

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