Wieger Bakker, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Ladislav Rabušić, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Paul Stubbs, Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia
Bart van Steenbergen, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Europe is facing a number of challenges. How can the rights of minorities be safeguarded through political institutions?; in what ways do social and economic differences within Europe pose a threat to the enlarged EU and to the relations between the EU and its neighbours?; is cultural diversity within Europe an asset or does it block further cooperation?; can Europe afford its ambitious ideals for economic and social development?; what kind of global player should Europe become?; and what national or supranational policies are needed to deal with the forms of inclusion and exclusion which are connected with these challenges?
This course deals with the challenges of a new Europe and focuses on the emerging choices which will have to be made to cope with both the social problems we face and the ambitions we cherish. The world outside Europe is looking at European unification with great interest, enthusiasm, admiration, curiosity and even jealousy, whereas the European countries and peoples themselves seem to have a much more sceptical and sometimes even negative view on this process.
In his latest book the European Dream the American futurist Jeremy Rifkin even states that nowadays Europe more than the United States of America offers a hopeful perspective for the future of humankind. The time of the American Dream as an inspiring vision for so many people in the world is over and has been replaced by the newly emerging European Dream, he argues.
This course deals with this emerging European experiment, which in many ways is unique and incomparable with anything in history before. It is an open-ended process the outcome of which cannot be foreseen in advance or, in other words, it is a process we are working on together. In this course we shall stress that we are not only observers of this Europeanization process, but also, and perhaps even more so, active participants in it.
This course is the sixth edition of a bi annual series of courses of which Inclusion and Exclusion in Contemporary European Societies is the central theme. In 1998 the emphasis was on the exploration of the concept In- and Exclusion. In 2000 there was an accent on empirical data. The edition of 2002 paid extra attention to Inclusion and Exclusion in terms of (policy and governmental and non-governmental) intervention. In 2004 the course focussed on the EU-enlargement and the future of civil society and governance and in 2006 we were looking at the dilemmas in dealing with diversity and the directions that are open for action.
This year our main focus is on some of the dichotomies which come to mind when looking at the strategies available to deal with concrete problems in the wider European space and in relation to the position of Europe in the world, namely:
- Parochial Europe versus Cosmopolitan Europe
- Provincial Europe versus Europe as a Global Player
- Frozen Europe versus Dynamic Europe
- Stagnating Europe versus Innovative Europe
During the course, in plenary presentations and in interactive workshops, we will discuss Europe as an idea and will look at the challenges contemporary Europe is facing. We will explore the conditions for innovation and the conditions under which Europe and the EU can develop, as well as new forms of European Governance and strategies to support European citizens to cope with Europe.
In this course we try to bring together students that are likely to have a future career within or connected with the public domain (and lecturers and researchers) from the so called old EU (especially the Netherlands), new and candidate member states of the EU and from the so called new neighbours. The aim is to share and to discuss our knowledge and perspectives on the challenges of Europe. The intensive international part of the course in Dubrovnik includes different longer and shorter plenary presentations by resource persons from different countries, workshop sessions with presentations by participants, forum debates, simulation games, future creating workshops, and so on. As lecturers and participants stay in the same hotel, discussions will be extended during evening hours within an informal setting.
The course is open for bachelor students in their last year of study, master students and Phd students. In general the course is aiming at students of disciplines that are dealing with issues related to the public domain (social sciences including e.g. sociology, political science, public administration and policy sciences, anthropology, European Studies, law, economics, organizational sciences et cetera.). The course is selective. The selection will be made by the course directors and/or the participating institutes.
Participants are expected to give a workshop presentation and to prepare a paper on research related to the central theme of the course. During the months preceding the course there will be assistance through information on the website and by e-mail. The final papers will be published on the website after the course. Furthermore the participants are expected to write a short summary of their own presentation and a short report on one of the other presentations. The summaries will be part of the hard copy and the e-version of the final report of the course. Requirements can be found on the website: www.inclusionexclusion.nl
(The update version will be available January 2008).
For information on the programme, costs, grants and the application procedure Dubrovnik 2008, contact Dr. Wieger Bakker (course co-director). Reports from earlier editions (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006) are available.
Dr. Wieger Bakker
Utrecht School of Governance
3511 ZC Utrecht (the Netherlands)