Advanced undergraduate course, Cornell University
Since the end of the Cold War a reunited Germany has come to be the European continent’s foremost economic and political actor. While its head of government, chancellor Angela Merkel, has increasingly been portrayed as an alternative “leader of the free world”, the country is often seen as a rather “reluctant hegemon” by friends and competitors alike. This course introduces students to the German political system in its wider European context and discusses how contemporary German politics have shaped the country’s domestic organization and international stance. Given the country’s unique history, the course will anchor these discussions in its particular development shaped by factors such as World War II, the experience of communist dictatorship and reunification, as well as its increasing internationalization through European integration and international migration.
Graduate student/senior seminar, Cornell University
Regional organizations and integration mechanisms have been a regular feature of politics in many areas of the world. While the number of such organizations has steadily risen over time, today many of these are but empty shells offering little in the way of organizing regional politics. This seminar considers the phenomenal proliferation of regional organizations as well as subsequent developments in world politics which have contributed to their relative decline. In so doing, the seminar will discuss different types of regional integration mechanisms, consider specific ones’ such as the European Union, the African Union or Mercosur, and outline how these are challenged by political developments such as nationalism and the increasing globalization of economic relations.