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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsIt is an interesting time to study Europe. It is an interesting time to rethink what Europe is and what it should become. It is an interesting time to study Europe beyond the European Union. Against the backdrop of the anti-austerity or anti-governmental protests in Athens, Madrid, or Sarajevo and Brussels, against the backdrop of immigration, the Paris attacks, Euromaidan, the Grexit and the Brexit campaigns, more and more voices are saying that decision making in the European Union has been a set of historical mistakes, one after another.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsThe ongoing challenges faced by the European political project are presented rather pessimistically as an utter failure in a bold experiment of establishing a political organisation beyond the nation-state, the alternative being either a return to nations or formulation of novel forms of postnational democracy. We disagree. We think that observing the challenges faced by Europe, solely within the scope of the European Union does not do justice to the problem. It also prevents us from finding suitable solutions. We therefore start from a different premise-- from a premise that to understand present challenges, we need to observe European political institutions in the wider context of Europe as a civilisation project.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 secondsWe will analyse and explain the intertwined relationship between culture and politics in constructing and governing contemporary Europe. It is vital to understand how struggles over the meaning of Europe have shaped European contemporary society and how they will shape European future. My name is Senka Neuman-Stanivukovic. I'm a lecturer at the Euroculture programme of the University of Groningen, and I will be guiding you throughout this course. In this course, you will learn about Europe beyond the EU. You will challenge the established truths about Europe as old, white, originary, rational, tolerant, progressive, Christian, democratic, and powerful. You will learn that the various crises related to Europe and European integration have been made. And together we will search for suitable solutions for these challenges.

Skip to 2 minutes and 47 secondsSo join us on this journey.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to European Culture and Politics! During this course, we’ll be looking at Europe from a variety of perspectives, including cultural studies, history, religious studies, political science and sociology. We’re looking forward to you sharing your own perspectives with the other learners.

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An Ever-Changing Europe

On March 29, 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May has triggered Article 50, thus following up on the result of the June 23, 2016 referendum. This means that the UK and the EU will shortly start negotiating about the process and terms of a so-called ‘Brexit’. However, as negotiations are expected to take some time, in this course we will currently treat the UK as a member-state of the European Union.

Over the past years, Europe and the European Union have undergone multiple other changes. This includes changes in the composition of national and European political elites. Martin Schulz, who acted as a president of the European Parliament since 2012, was replaced in 2017 by Antonio Tajani. Out-of-date references in the visual material are always corrected in the written text below. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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European Culture and Politics

University of Groningen

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