Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

What's a student (or a teacher) to do?

Even if your textbook was published in 2016, it's out of date. Does your textbook correctly identify the British PM? Does it discuss Brexit? Does it identify President Xi of China?

The thing to remember is that your comparative government and politics course is neither a history course nor a current events course. The article here discusses internal politics in the EU. You won't be asked about the current state of those politics on your exam, but reviewing them might help you remember the basics about the regime and the political forces within the EU.

E.U., Pressured from Inside and Out, Considers a Reboot
The European Union took a step toward coming to terms with the obvious on Wednesday: The 27 diverse nations in the bloc do not necessarily agree on the direction they are moving, how fast to get there, or how closely they should remain together.

For decades, the Eurocrats [EU employees] leading the bloc have usually insisted that there is one direction and one speed — an inevitable momentum toward an “ever closer union.” But with Britain preparing to soon formally leave the bloc, and with other crises creating internal strains, Jean-Claude Juncker, the leader of the group’s executive body, is offering something new on the menu: a buffet of options for leaders to consider over the next year or so.

Mr. Juncker set out five potential paths for the bloc’s future on Wednesday. Several envision things continuing as they are or even tighter integration, while others acknowledge that Europe can work at different speeds and would roll back some of the powers of the European Commission [where the Eurocrats work], the permanent bureaucracy, which Mr. Juncker heads…

Speaking to the European Parliament, Mr. Juncker urged governments, which hold the real power in the bloc, to “stop bashing the E.U.” for problems, like youth unemployment and low economic growth, that are the responsibility of nation states…

In conceding that there could be more than one way forward, Mr. Juncker may have helped the European establishment fend off those critics who say countries must leave the bloc in order to regain greater control of their sovereignty…

The issues are sensitive. Even the suggestion of a varied Europe brought some howls. Gianni Pittella, the leader of the Socialist Democrats in the European Parliament, suggested that Mr. Juncker had shied away from choosing a single pathway to restore faith in the European project because of political cowardice…

Which of Mr. Juncker’s scenarios is likely to prevail will depend on the outcome of elections in those countries and on the winners of the next round of European elections, to be held in 2019.

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

Just The Facts! 2nd edition is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.

Just The Facts! is available. Order HERE.

Amazon's customers gave this book a 5-star rating.

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