The main goal of this graduate seminar is to study recent rule of law and human rights developments in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) within the broader context of European Integration. The seminar consists of three main parts. First, we deal with European integration and in particular with Eastern enlargement. We will discover the theoretical underpinnings of EU conditionality and the methodologies to examine empirical effects of Europeanization. Second, we study the rule of law in CEE and the EU’s impact on it. In particular we will examine the effects of EU’s external conditionality during the pre-accession period as well as more recent EU actions to protect the rule of law in Member States through various tools of internal conditionality (e.g. Romania, Poland, Hungary). Third, we will look at human and minority rights from a multi-disciplinary (historical, legal, political and economic) perspective in order to understand what human rights are, how they evolved, how they can be measured and what instruments exist to protect and promote them in Europe.

Students will receive the opportunity to present their own empirical research project (a case study based on a country from CEE). The main advantage of this seminar is that participants will acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills (toolkit) to conduct an empirical analysis of rule of law and human rights development. The teaching approach of the seminar is based on a combination of theoretical insights, the instructor’s first-hand experience in CEE and „learning by doing empirical research“. This will allow students to develop methodological skills which will be useful for future research projects (e.g. master thesis) and their career as a political analyst, legal consultant or representative of international organizations.

Semester: ST 2023