Proposal Narrative Form1 Receipt Deadline June 20, 2011
Project Title: The University of Texas European Union Center of Excellence – Grant Proposal
Start Date and End Date of Project:
September 1st, 2011 – August 31st, 2014
Contact Details for Project Principal Investigator:
Douglas Biow, Director
Superior Oil Company-Linward Shivers Centennial Professor
Center for European Studies
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station A1800
Austin, TX 78712Austin, Texas 78713-8925
Signature of Project Principal Investigator:
EU CENTERS 2011-14
Summary Overview of the Project. Briefly describe the major themes to be addressed, major research, teaching, and outreach activities to be undertaken, and the expected impact of the program upon the university community and external outreach constituencies, and any activities that will be delegated to sub-contractors. Attach additional page(s) if necessary.
MAJOR THEMES: The theme of globalization has dominated the last two decades of post-Cold War era scholarship and policy studies to a point where it has become ubiquitous. With globalization came opportunities for economic growth and prosperity that have been unparalleled in recent modern history. However, globalization has also brought a number of novel challenges such as climate change, terrorism, currency fluctuations, financial crisis contagion, and infectious diseases. Just as the growth opportunities are globalized, so too are the problems of today’s era. These challenges and crises have little respect for the traditional notions of state borders and they resist unilateral solutions. In today’s globalized world, events far beyond one’s borders may have profound consequences for security and prosperity at home.
Policymakers increasingly recognize that global interconnectedness makes cooperation among countries essential, regardless of whether the issue is terrorism or financial regulatory practices. But policymakers are also discovering that views on which issues should take priority and which solutions are most likely to work, vary from capital to capital. Meanwhile, publics around the world increasingly worry that interdependence has gone too far, exposing them to dangers they would rather avoid and undermining their way of life. These citizens know that globalization has eroded national borders, in turn making it impossible for any country, however powerful, to operate in a vacuum. And these people are not sure they like it. Nowhere is this rise of populism more evident than in the revival of the small-government movement in the US and in the renewed vigor for a Euroskepticist rhetoric, which is espoused in Europe from Finland to Germany.
The proposed EU Center of Excellence (“Center”) at the University of Texas at Austin (“UT”) will explore European and American responses to the pressures created by global interconnectedness. The Center will work to spur dialogue on the common challenges facing the EU and the US and to create opportunities for Europeans and Americans to discuss and evaluate contending policy solutions. In doing so, the Center will engage the best minds in academia, government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors in its activities. The Center will work strenuously to publicize its events, competitions, and research with an active outreach program that will take full advantage of the powers of the Internet.
As its main overarching theme, the Center will specifically undertake the idea of Trans-National Policy Challenges. The Center will examine policy issues and challenges that eschew national-level policy responses. The EU will serve as an ideal case-study for the purposes of this overarching theme. Its very existence ultimately hinges on the concept that European sovereign states abrogate their sovereignty in order to maximize policy-making effectiveness on a number of policy challenges that are otherwise impossible to limit merely to national government. Since 2008, the world has seen a number of such policy challenges and the consequences of those challenges. The economic crisis is perhaps the most obvious policy challenge, but how to deal with energy dependency in a geopolitically unstable region, or with a regional power seeking nuclear weapons, are just few of the many other challenges that cannot be resolved by one country alone.
Across the board, the economic crisis has created a call for smaller government and for more national level policy responses. In the US, the bailouts of the financial sector in 2008 and mounting budget deficits have revitalized the “small government” movement. In the EU, a number of Eurozone bailouts have caused rancor across the continent—both in the countries being bailed out due to the imposition of austerity measures and in the countries contributing to the bailout due to the perceived costs of the financial rescue. Thus, Euroskepticism is on the rise again. Certain policy responses, however, are impossible to be undertaken at a local and/or national level. Global cooperation and supranationalism are the only way to deal with challenges that necessarily cross borders.
A partnership between the European Commission and the flagship university of the State of Texas to tackle trans-national policy issues makes eminent sense. The EU is the world’s oldest and most successful trans-national, trans-border governance institution. Texas is by nature a frontier state—it has the longest international land border of any state in the US—and it is open to trade and movement of people. UT has both a wide and deep array of talent and expertise on the themes outlined above, especially at its world-renowned professional schools. In short, we have much to learn from each other. An exchange of ideas between Europeans and Texans on trans-national policy challenges such as financial regulation, economic policy, immigration, legal issues, energy security, and trade would greatly enrich the public debate in the US and create possibilities for forging common ground within the transatlantic community.
The Center will address its overarching theme of trans-national policy opportunities and challenges by concentrating on three sub-themes: (1) Post-Recession Policy Challenges, (2) Geopolitics as Trans-National Policy Challenge, and (3) Law and Media.
Post-Recession Policy Challenges
Most policy problems today are transnational in nature. These issues do not stay at home; instead, they cross borders. One major Center initiative, therefore, will focus specifically on trans-border policy problems confronting Europe and what these teach the US. This effort will consist, in part, of sponsoring events and research on how the EU is responding to the transnational challenges it faces. To further focus our thematic research, the Center will concentrate on the Post-Recession Policy Challenges not only in terms of fiscal and monetary policies but also on the social impacts of the economic crisis. The kinds of topics the Center will examine include:
Monetary and fiscal policy
Intersections of local and global business practices
Austerity implementation and deficit reduction measures
Challenges to corporate/household deleveraging
Financial sector regulation
Exchange rate coordination
Challenge of credit rating across continents
Role of the investor community in shaping government responses
With these activities the Center will seek to increase understanding within Texas and the US of how Europeans define the economic and fiscal problems they face and why they favor some policy responses over others. Where appropriate, these activities will draw on lessons from the American experience that Europeans might find useful in choosing what steps to take—as well as those to avoid.
The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis has spurred Europe to undergo painful austerity measures and government balance sheet fiscal consolidation efforts—policy responses that have largely been lacking in the US. While investors continue to focus on Europe in a negative light, there is in fact much that Europe, led by the European Commission, has done right. Its statistical body—Eurostat—has begun consolidating new accounting standards, and new enforcement mechanisms for Maastricht criteria have been agreed upon. The US, meanwhile, remains politically divided over the issue of deficit reduction and has largely failed to mobilize a response that even remotely mirrors that of the EU. The Center will look to learn from the EU response to the crisis and to inform the domestic debates in the US with a number of conferences and events.
Geopolitics as Trans-National Policy Challenge
The EU has emerged as a critical power in global economics and politics. The EU is the world’s largest market, a critical actor in international trade negotiations, and a major force in shaping commercial and legal regulations worldwide. The Euro, which is now celebrating its eleventh anniversary, is a leading international currency that has weathered a major crisis and continues to be sought as a reserve currency by governments across the globe. The EU as a whole, and its most powerful members individually, wield considerable diplomatic clout on issues ranging from nuclear proliferation, to climate change, to the Middle East peace process. The EU has been at the forefront of the ongoing humanitarian intervention in Libya and has played a central role in the evolution of democracy in the Middle East.
Many Americans, and especially many Texans, do not understand or appreciate Europe’s emergence as a global power—a power that in many respects rivals that of the US. They are still wedded to a cold war view in which Europe is a decidedly junior partner to America, despite the roles being reversed to a large extent in the ongoing Libyan intervention. And they certainly do not understand the EU and its crucial role in European life. This tendency to see Europe as it was, rather than as it is and will be, has played a role in many of the trans-Atlantic disputes of recent years.
The Center will address these issues by examining Europe’s evolution and emergence as a major global actor, seeking to understand Europe’s responses to a number of geopolitical issues as instructive case studies. The Center will help UT faculty and students, as well as the broader Central Texas community, to understand the current state of play in Europe’s capacities to respond to geopolitical crises—from the 2008 Russo-Georgian war to the ongoing situation in Libya—as well as the global reach of the EU. The Center will pay special attention to the rich and varied debates within Europe over the future evolution of the EU, including issues such as the EU’s enlargement policy and the development and maturation of its Common Foreign and Security Policy, and to the EU’s critical role in dealing with secessionist regions and frozen conflicts on its borders. In pursuing these efforts, the Center will draw heavily on its professional schools, especially the schools of business, law, and public affairs, all of which have considerable expertise and interest in these areas.
In looking at the evolution of Europe as a geopolitical actor, the Center will examine Europe’s relations with nations of the former Soviet Union and the post-Communist Central/Eastern Europe. There is a divergence within Europe on what role Russia should play in this region. The Central/Eastern European members of the EU have a different perception of Moscow’s interests in the post-Soviet sphere than the West European member states. Indeed, Europe’s growing economic ties with Russia have outpaced its political ties. Further, Russia is Europe’s main supplier of natural gas and a consumer for European exports. But Russian leaders dismiss European concerns about anti-democratic developments in Russia and criticize Europe for being too willing to follow the US. The Center will examine the Russian-European relationship, particularly in the cases of energy security and frozen conflict management, both in the Balkans and in the Caucasus.
The Center’s work on transnational policy challenges will also investigate specific instances of US-European cooperation on so-called out of area issues. One such topic involves the whole constellation of issues subsumed under the umbrella of peacekeeping and post-conflict governance. First in the Balkans, then in Afghanistan, and currently in Libya, US and European governments, both through NATO and independently of it, are working cooperatively to reduce ethnic and sectarian violence and to build lasting structures of peace. These efforts have gone well beyond—indeed, have had to go well-beyond—“ordinary” military deployments to encompass a broad array of diplomatic, economic, social, and judicial initiatives. The Center’s efforts in this area will seek to identify what lessons Europeans and Americans have learned over the past decade and to assess what new steps need be taken.
3. Law and Media Globalization is doing more than simply eroding physical borders. It is also dissolving the boundaries that separate nations and cultures and the norms and morals that bind them. Ideas now traverse political borders with the touch of a button on a computer. Meanwhile, all people, from the poorest migrants to the wealthiest hedge-fund managers, cross borders in ever growing numbers looking for opportunity. These varied people bring different views and attitudes to their new homes, while technology allows them (if they so choose) to remain emotionally and culturally connected to their old homes.
The movement of ideas and people stimulates creativity and innovation. It also challenges traditional notions of group identity. Do (and should) citizens of Denmark think of themselves primarily as Danes or as Europeans? Will Muslim immigrants in Rotterdam and Hamburg and Paris come to see themselves as part of Europe or as separate from it? Do Poles, Bulgarians, and citizens from other new entrants to the EU see the European project in the same way that citizens in Western Europe do?
The Center will examine these questions of identity and citizenship. Identity politics (defined broadly), aided by the trans-border nature of information technology, is of great importance to a frontier state like Texas, which has the second largest foreign-born population in the US. The University of Texas is home to some of the world’s leading researchers on the formation, expression, and evolution of identity. The Center will provide UT students, faculty, and staff—as well as the wider Central Texas community of business people, policymakers, and not-for-profit leaders—with a forum through which to learn about Europe’s experience with identity politics and to share their own experience and knowledge. The US and Europe can learn much from each other about different migrant experiences, and Austin is an ideal vantage point from which to explore changing group identities in a comparative manner.
In exploring culture, citizenship, and identity, the Center will place particular emphasis on the role played by journalists and the media. We will provide a conduit through which practitioners, industry leaders, students, researchers, and faculty at UT’s professional school of Journalism as well as Radio, Television and Film can access and discuss the academic scholarship and practices in Europe. The Center will encourage and support student exchanges and cooperation with universities in the EU. In short, we will provide UT students, faculty, and researchers, as well as European visitors in Austin, with a trans-national platform for the study of new mediums in radio, television, film, and journalism.
The Center will also emphasize how legal practices in Europe and the US are comparable and how the two models can learn from one another. Adhering to the theme of identity politics, we will examine law and sexual citizenship and how these are perceived in Europe and the US. We will also emphasize the European perception of humanitarian and international law, particularly in the context of the post-global war on terror.
Finally, the Center will provide the UT community specifically and Central Texas as a whole with information about exhibitions and performances that will highlight the incredible depth and volume of European art and culture. The Center will work with the world-famous Blanton Museum of Art and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center to attract European artists and art works to the UT campus to add to the already significant European art exhibitions and performances these institutions currently offer.
MAJOR RESEARCH, TEACHING, AND OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
TO BE UNDERTAKEN DURING THE GRANT CYCLE: The EU Center of Excellence at the University of Texas will use a variety of activities to cover the main themes of Trans-National Policy Challenges and Opportunities. In doing so, the Center will continuously seek to fulfill its main mission of involving the university student, faculty, and researcher community in outreach efforts to the wider community of policy makers, stake holders, diplomats, business people, local institutions of higher education, and educational professionals.
The Center will organize conferences, lectures, and workshops, sponsor visiting EU scholars, facilitate student exchanges and research projects, support curriculum development on European themes, and disseminate educational and informative publications. We also will involve the local media in all our events, especially those that go beyond the involvement of the academic community. Below is a brief overview of each activity divided into seven sections: (1) conferences; (2) lecture series; (3) workshops, outreach to K-12 and institutions of higher learning, and the EU Visit Program; (4) visiting EU scholars; (5) student exchanges, graduate student research projects, and faculty research funding; (6) curriculum development on European and EU themes; and (7) dissemination of information.
(1) Conferences I. EU Center of Excellence “Learning With Europe” Conference Series: The Center will organize three “major” conferences (9-16 invited participants per conference) every academic year (typically taking place in November, March, and April) that will seek to involve a large number of researchers, policy makers, and stake holders from both the US and Europe. We are targeting 75-100 attendees minimum per conference, and expect many more. The broad themes of the three yearly conferences over the grant cycle are as follows:
Year 1 (2011-12):
Focus on Monetary Issues:
Austerity, Elites, and the Euro
1. “Alternatives to Austerity in the EU and US: Monetary Policies”
(Principal organizers: CES and LBJ)
2. “The Euro Crisis”
(Principal organizers: CES and Law)
“Elite Policymaking and Financing
in the EU and US: Accountability or Paralysis?”
(Principal organizers: CES and Govt.)
Year 2 (2012-13)
Focus on Pubic Policy Issues:
Energy, Secession, and Identity
1. “EU-US Energy: Comparative Energy Public Policies and Technologies.”
(Principal organizers: CES and Cockrell School of Engineering)
2. “Reassessing EU/US Policy on Secession:
The Lessons of Yugoslavia and Georgia”
(Principal organizers: CES, LBJ, and CREEES)
3. “Comparative Politics of Identity in the European Union”
(Principal organizers: CES, LBJ, Govt., and CREEES)
Year 3 (2013-14)
Focus on Human Rights & Citizenship Issues:
Citizenship, Media, and Law
1. “Sexual Citizenship and Human Rights:
What Can the US Learn from the EU and European Law?”
(Principal organizers: CES, Law, and Rapoport Center for Human Rights)
2. “Comparing European Union and North-American Approaches
3. “The European Public Sphere: Understanding the Role of Mass Media and Interpersonal Discussion in Shaping Today's European Citizenship”
(CES and the School of Journalism).
The nine conferences, as outlined above, will be organized in collaboration with departments, centers, and colleges across campus, including professional schools, such as LBJ, Law, Journalism, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights, and the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Finally, each conference will be led by a major figure in the field, such as Jamie Galbraith, the noted economist, who will in fact be leading the first conference, which examines austerity measures in select EU nations within the broader comparative context of EU-US relations.
II. EU Center of Excellence “Connecting Central Texas Businesses to the European Markets” Summit Conference Series: Hosted in Austin, the annual Texas EU Summit, “Connecting Central Texas Businesses to the European Markets,” will provide small businesses, policy makers, and economic development professionals with an overview of how to target and expand business opportunities in Europe. The summit will focus on promoting and building the international trade capacity of Texas-based small businesses and economic development organizations while creating greater awareness regarding the benefits of exporting to the world’s largest market. The intention of the series will be to connect Texas businesses with their European counterparts to facilitate joint ventures and memorandums of understanding of mutual benefit.
Our target audience is small and medium business firms from throughout Texas, including new-to-export and existing exporters that want to grow their international operations, professionals from international trade assistance organizations, local and EU chambers of commerce, manufacturing associations, agricultural-focused organizations, technology incubators, renewable energy companies, and financial services providers. We plan on an attendance of 150-200 small businesses and economic development professionals from throughout Texas per summit.
(2) Lecture Series I. EU Center of Excellence EU-US Distinguished Business and Politics Lecture Series: CES and the McCombs School of Business’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) will collaborate with LBJ in the form of a three-part lecture series over the grant cycle, with three lectures sponsored each year, for a total of nine lectures. The series will focus on the economies and international relations of the EU and US, and each will have a significant business outreach component to them. The purpose of this series is: (1) to promote student and faculty dialogue on these two important regions and trading partners of the world; (2) to encourage outreach between the university and the broader public, including the Central Texas business community; and (3) to facilitate the establishment of a more permanent intellectual community among Liberal Arts, the McCombs School, and LBJ in the field of EU-US studies. We are targeting 50-75 attendees per lecture.
II. EU Center of Excellence Diplomat Speakers Series: The Center will assist LBJ in bringing in speakers from the EU, former and current diplomats. Speakers will be drawn both from Member State diplomatic corps and the European External Action Service. Indeed, LBJ and the Strauss Center, which is housed within LBJ, regularly bring in diplomats, such as the German Ambassador to the US Klaus Scharioth, who came to UT in December, 2010, and addressed Berlin’s policy response to the Eurozone financial crisis as well as geopolitical matters such as Russian resurgence and US-German collaboration in the Middle East. The series will be held in the prestigious LBJ Presidential Library Presidential Suite. In short, LBJ and the Strauss Center will provide the EU Center of Excellence with prestigious fora for prominent diplomats from the EU institutions and EU member states. Our target audience is 75-100 per lecture.
III. EU Center of Excellence “Europe and Islam Speak” Lecture and Seminar Cultural Exchange Series: As a National Resource Center, CES will continue to coordinate and organize a collaborative lecture series and faculty exchange (begun this year) with the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS),in Paris, which would involve, among other things, during the three-year grant cycle a scholar from the Centre coming to UT once a year to work with students and faculty on the topic of Muslim communities and their histories in Europe and the EU. We anticipate one lecture each year as part of our series on “Europe and Islam Speak.” Our target audience is 50-75 per lecture.
IV. EU Center of Excellence Lecture Series in Anthropology: CES announces the launching of the EU Center of Excellence Lecture Series in Anthropology. The series will enable the Center to invite distinguished anthropologists and intellectuals invested in matters of contemporary European culture and society, and whose work is related to studies of the EU. We are especially interested in individuals whose research intersects with other fields, including, but not limited to, globalization and transnational studies. Our target audience is 40-60 per lecture.
(3) Workshops, Outreach to K-12 and Institutions of Higher Learning,
and the EU Visit Program I. As part of its larger outreach mission, CES will participate in the Euro Challenge, a program launched and sponsored by the Delegation of the EU to the US in Washington, DC. The Euro Challenge provides educational opportunity for high school students to learn about the EU and the euro. Student teams of five students are asked to make presentations answering specific questions about the European economy and the single currency, the euro. They are also asked to pick one member country of the “euro area” to examine an economic problem at the country level, and to identify policies for responding to that problem.
II. As part of its overall outreach efforts as a National Resource Center funded through the US Department of Education, in particular with an aim to forging connections with minority institutions in the community, CES will continue to develop as part of an ongoing collaborative project a series of classes on European and EU related topics at Huston-Tillotson University, a historically black college in the heart of Austin, Texas.
III. As part of its overall outreach efforts, in particular with an aim to reach K-16 students and provide high school teachers in Texas with useful lesson plans, CES will organize every year the following workshops:
Workshop 1: “Grants and fellowships for studying in and researching on Europe.” Here our focus will be primarily university students. The workshop will be available to the entire university community.
Workshop 2: “Teaching European Union in Texas High Schools.” Here our focus will be primarily teacher training of high school instructors. We are targeting approximately 30 attendees for each workshop.
IV. The Center will sponsor the participation of three UT undergraduate students and two Texas high school teachers in a visit program to Brussels, the capital of the EU, organized by the EU Network Coordinating Center.
(4) Visiting EU Scholars The Center, in cooperation with the deans of the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Germanic Studies, will provide funds and research assistance for two visiting EU scholars from Germany and Sweden to teach courses that will fall within the themes indicated in the “Major Themes” section. Depending on the skill-set of the scholar, they may teach cross-listed courses in one of the professional schools. The selection of visiting professors will be on a competitive basis and overseen by Richard Flores, the Senior Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, the Director and Associate Director of the EU Center of Excellence, and the Principal Investigator of the EU Center for Excellence.
Concentrating on scholars from Germany and Sweden will offer UT students and faculty an important perspective of the EU. As the economic powerhouse of the EU, Berlin has become far more involved in resolving the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. Germany is also emerging as an important political leader in Europe and has come to lead a number of important European initiatives, including the recent effort to create an EU-Russia Political and Security Committee.
Sweden is also an EU political and economic leader. While it stands outside of the Eurozone, it has been involved in supporting the efforts of the currency bloc to stabilize peripheral European economies. Sweden is also a geopolitical leader, as demonstrated by its spearheading efforts with Poland of the EU Eastern Partnership initiative. Sweden’s leadership efforts in the Baltic region are considerable, and it is one of the most involved EU nations in Eastern/Central Europe.
(5) Student Exchanges, Graduate Student Research Projects,
and Faculty Research Funding The Center will provide undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities for exchanges and research projects.
The Center will provide information about grants and funding opportunities for students interested in studying or researching in Europe available from UT. The Center will also support the already existing exchange programs within UT’s professional schools.
The Center will also provide grants for faculty and graduate research with a focus on the EU.
(6) Curriculum Development on European and EU Themes The Center will provide funds through a competitive application for faculty to help them organize and teach an existing course around the themes of the EU.
I. We will fund the creation of a “signature course” on the EU and will hold an open competition to design such a course for the Fall 2012 semester. The Signature Course series is the centerpiece of UT’s Curriculum Reform. The signature course program provides all first-year students at UT with a course that helps them transition from promising high school students to good, effective college students. As such, it constitutes an important gateway course that can shape what students will study during their time at UT. Our focus over the three-year grant cycle period will be on “leadership in the EU and/or EU-US Relations.” We have the strong support of Dean Paul Woodruff, who has implemented these required signature courses and integrated them into the curriculum, for this theme related to EU and/or EU-US relations. Seminar classes include 15-20 students, large lecture classes 50-100 students (with a Teaching Assistant provided for every 50 students for Friday discussion sections).
II. We will be providing funds for competitive proposals for the development and instruction of courses related to commerce and business in the EU. In doing so, as part of our overall commitment to connecting the humanities with the work of professional schools, we aim to fashion courses for roughly 30-35 that are useful for both business and liberal arts majors. There is a great demand for these sorts of interdisciplinary courses, and we believe that a course that emphasizes transnational aspects of business would be appealing to students of both majors. The course will emphasize not only the business side of the comparative study, but also cultural and historical aspects of establishing successful business relationships in the EU.
III. CES has recently received a competitive award valued at BLAH through LAITS (Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services) to radically develop, enrich, and revise during the grant period its core required introductory course for all majors, of which CES typically has between 60 and 70 in any given year. The course revision of Introduction to European Studies, which focuses primarily on the EU, will involve the creation of new teaching materials for a large class of 100 students and it will be led by Dr. Katie Arens of the Germanic Studies Department, an expert on modern Europe, pedagogy, and curricular development.
(7) Dissemination of Information The Center will maintain a website on which it will publicize all its events and funding opportunities. The website will also seek to collect all European-related funding opportunities and events put on by all the professional schools, departments, and outside collaborators. We will therefore maintain a thorough calendar of events for European-related events and activities in Central Texas. We will place all of our major events on the website in a downloadable video format.
To disseminate our educational and informative publications, the Center first will create an extensive email list compiled from event participants, interested students, and partners in professional schools and academic departments. Subsequently, a monthly newsletter will be distributed to this email list. The newsletter will:
list all of the upcoming EU Center Events, as well as European-related events put on by other schools and departments, both at UT and at our partner educational institutions in the region;
provide the upcoming deadlines for funding and grants from the EU Center, as well as appropriate funding opportunities from other schools and departments within the UT;
chronologize upcoming deadlines for funding and grants from non-University of Texas entities (the EU, US State Department, Council for European Studies, etc.); and
furnish links to the news sources about issues in the EU (such as EU’s Press Room: http://europa.eu/press_room/index_en.htm).
IMPACT OF THE PROGRAM UPON THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY AND EXTERNAL OUTREACH CONSTITUENCIES: The EU Center of Excellence will connect the vibrant community of scholars and students on campus and inform them of the opportunities that the campus already provides while increasing awareness of new opportunities that the Center will initiate.
The Center will also involve Austin’s vibrant community of policy makers, stake holders, secondary school teachers/students, and business professionals in its activities. Austin is the capital of Texas and as such it is the nerve center of the government and state policy activity. The Center will become the main source of information for ideas and advice on European affairs, both in the realm of public policy and business. Austin is also a city of “ideas,” home to important high technology and media industries (Dell, 3M, Motorola, etc.). We intend to use UT’s already strong and established links with the Texas State Capitol and the business community to push the Center to the forefront.
We will involve the Texas business community in our events and conferences. Aside from collaborating with entrepreneurs in conference preparation, we also intend to provide the business community with events and information that they will be able to use in their day-to-day activities. We therefore intend to host a large conference summit and a series of lectures for the business community (in conjunction with our professional schools) on how to invest in Europe and how to learn more about European regulatory practices.
We will involve the Governor’s Office as well as the members and staff of the Texas Legislature in our events and activities. We will bring Texas policy makers together with European academics/policy-makers and aim to engender a discussion on how Texas can learn from European policy solutions in the realm of border control, public health, public transportation, urban planning, and educational policy. We intend to illustrate to Texas legislators and policy makers that many of the same problems they face are encountered by government officials in Europe, and that, just as threats and problems can cross borders in our contemporary world, so can solutions.
The Center will also reach out to the universities and colleges in the surrounding Central Texas area and thus involve a wider number of students and researchers in its funding opportunities and conference preparations. We intend to collaborate with the entire University of Texas system of schools (nine universities and six health institutions with a total of over 210,000 students) as well as with Central Texas universities and colleges that will form our partnership network: Texas State University (San Marcos), Texas Lutheran University (Seguin), Houston-Tillotson University (Austin), Concordia University (Austin), St. Edwards University (Austin), and Austin Community College. Of special importance, in an effort to reach a minority population, we will develop EU content-based classes at Huston-Tillotson, a historically black college in the heart of Austin and not far from UT.
EU CENTERS 2011-14
Narrative Proposal Form
1. Strategic Support of Host University and Center Visibility. Applicants should explain how their activities will reinforce and benefit from any ongoing university efforts to support international and/or European programs. They should also explain how the university will support the Center with staff and other logistical assistance, and how the Center will ensure high physical and programmatic visibility within the university. Applicants receiving funding during the 2008-2011 period should explain their relative level of success in achieving the above, and also how they will enhance and expand that performance during the 2011-2014 period. Attach additional page(s) if necessary.
Reinforcing ongoing university efforts:
The University of Texas at Austin has a strong commitment toward scholarship that seeks to expand knowledge of Europe and of Global Affairs. The EU Center of Excellence, which will be housed in the Center for European Studies (currently a National Resource Center), will work in close collaboration with UT’s professional schools, especially LBJ, the School of Law, the McCombs School of Business, the School of Journalism, and the Cockrell School of Engineering. The Center will also benefit from close support of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, the Harry Ransom Research Library, the Blanton Museum, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights, Women’s and Gender Studies, the Government Department, and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES). The activities related to Europe of these schools, departments, centers, and programs are vast, as one would expect of one of the largest and most well-endowed universities in the world.
The EU Center of Excellence will reinforce the current undergraduate Major of European Studies. The European scholars and fellows brought in from European universities will help teach courses for the undergraduate major. At the same time, the Center will also work at developing with the professional schools (Law and Business) a joint-degree program that will link the proposed European Studies Masters degree with the professional school degree. The Center will also work through CES to develop further avenues for graduate study in the field of EU and Europe. To this end, CES has already received prior approval from the Deans of CoLA (Randy Diehl) and LBJ (Ambassador Robert Hutchings) to move forward with the creation of an MA in European Studies (see letters of support), with the aim of creating joint European Studies/EU interdisciplinary tracks in allied colleges and schools and establishing joint MA degrees with LBJ during the grant cycle.
The EU Center of Excellence will be a “force multiplier” of these academic units, institutes, museums, and schools, concentrating on disseminating information and facilitating cooperation in the realm of European scholarship amongst and between them. Below is a brief outline of what is only a fraction of ongoing activities to support European research in a number of schools, departments and institutes:
Center for European Studies –
The Center for European Studies (CES), which is proposing to be the home for the EU Center of Excellence, promotes the study of Europe in the form of: language study; providing courses on European culture, history, economics, business, and politics; creating opportunities for study abroad and internships abroad; and assisting students in pursuing work opportunities connected to Europe. CES also serves civic, nonprofit, and business associations with activities in Europe; academic leaders and institutions from Europe with collaborative agreements with UT; governmental and multilateral agencies dedicated to social and economic betterment in Europe; and the general public in Texas and the US whose world outlook includes Europe.
As a National Resource Center (NRC), CES sponsors major conferences, workshops, faculty interest groups, and scholarly symposia. CES also provides Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships to students pursuing graduate and undergraduate degrees relating to Europe in any department or school of the university. From 2011-2014, CES will be awarding FLAS fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students developing language skills in traditional European languages (such as French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish) as well as those developing language skills in non-European priority languages (such as Arabic, Persian, Hindi, and Turkish) where those skills would deepen and broaden an understanding of the area studies of Europe and the EU generally.
CES has a firm commitment to developing campus resources and courses that will give students the training they need to participate in an international arena in which the EU plays a key role. By highlighting an interdisciplinary course of study and by offering a degree plan that is not limited by traditional disciplinary boundaries, CES can respond to political and private sector demands for integrated studies that include both academic study and professional training.
CES is committed to reaching out to the campus community as well as the broader region to provide access to European speakers and activities that will promote interest in Europe and the EU. As part of the largest university in the state of Texas, CES has a special responsibility to support continued international development and to educate students, which can play a fundamental role in an international community in which the EU is a critical player.
Programs, Colleges, and Centers that will contribute to CES’s work
as the home for the EU Center of Excellence
and be integrated closely into its activities Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies(CREEES) –
CREEES offers courses in the languages of the area and in the social sciences, humanities, and professional schools relevant to the study of the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. CREEES grants BA and MA degrees as well as four dual-degree programs with the professional schools.
CREEES sponsors a variety of scholarly, instructional, and outreach activities during the academic year. Scholarly events include lectures by distinguished visiting speakers, film and photography exhibits, an annual symposium featuring the best current scholarship on the region, and an international symposium in conjunction with other area centers at UT. In addition to regular undergraduate and graduate courses, CREEES sponsors workshops in thesis preparation, grant writing, and career counseling. Throughout the year and during the summer, CREEES sponsors outreach programs for K-12 teachers, including a speakers bureau, K-12 resource pages for students and teachers linked to the center’s homepage, and training institutes to bring the latest scholarship to K-12 teachers.
Jackson School of Geosciences –
The Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (CIEEP) is a joint venture of the Jackson School of Geosciences, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and the College of Engineering. It focuses on the development of national and international energy and environmental policy options with emphasis on the technical perspective that is most commonly lacking in policy efforts at academic institutions distant from the energy industry and educational scene. CIEEP has put on EU-focused conferences before, including bringing in the French Ambassador to the US in the Fall of 2008 to discuss French-US energy issues, bringing together Texas business leaders and policy makers.
UT School of Law –
The Institute for Transnational Law—led by the University of Texas and University College of London Professor Basil Markesinis—fosters close cooperation with a number of eminent Law Schools in Europe. The Institute promotes faculty and student exchanges to Europe (as well as other locations) and organizes international internships with courts, international institutions, and NGO’s in Europe (including a highly successful internship with the ICTY in The Hague).
The Rapoport Center for Human Rights –
The Rapoport Center serves as a focal point for critical, interdisciplinary analysis and practice of human rights both locally and globally. It publishes frequent research on human rights and immigration issues.
McCombs School of Business –
The Center for International Business and Education Research (CIBER) offers both undergraduate (BBA) and graduate (MBA) exchange programs in top European business schools.
The BBA international program office also coordinates semester and summer exchange programs with elite business school partners around the world. Undergraduate business students at McCombs can study abroad while earning credit for their business degree, receiving in-residence credit and paying UT tuition. Special scholarships are available to help students fund their experience, along with any regularly awarded financial aid and scholarships. While language study is possible and encouraged at nearly all our partners, most have classes in English, so foreign language proficiency is not a requirement to limit participation in the programs.
English Language Programs:
Austria (Vienna), Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
Belgium (Louvain-la-Neuve), Université Catholique de Louvain
Czech Republic (Prague), University of Economics
Denmark, Copenhagen Business School
England (Bath), University of Bath
France (Paris), École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, ESCP Europe
France (Paris), Hautes Études Commerciales, HEC
Germany (Vallendar), WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management
Italy (Milan), Universitá Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Netherlands (Rotterdam), Rotterdam School of Management - Erasmus University
Norway (Oslo), BI, Norwegian School of Management
Scotland (Edinburgh), University of Edinburgh
Switzerland (St. Gallen), St. Gallen Universität
Foreign Language Programs:
Spain (Barcelona), Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas, ESADE
Spain (Bilbao), Universidad de Deusto
Spain (Madrid), ICADE
Additionally, the IC² Institute at UT is an interdisciplinary institute focused on wealth creation and economic development. It supports faculty exchanges from Europe as well as research programs for graduate students. The institute has hosted visiting scholars from Germany, Russia, Poland, Portugal, Malta, and other European countries. It also provides business incubation services for a wide variety of businesses from across the world. It has a Global Fellows Program, which is a global community of creative and innovative leaders from academia, business, and government. This global network has existed since 1977 and currently includes about 160 active global fellows; there are also has 18 faculty members of UT who are endowed by the Institute.
The Institute helped create an incubator in Poland a few years ago. And there is a major Portugal program well underway, with UT on one side and 15 Portuguese universities on the other side. The program has four components: mathematics, advanced computing, digital media, and technology transfer. The latter component involved Portuguese interns working on commercialization projects in the US.
LBJ School of Public Affairs –
The Center for International Energy and Environmental Research supports a number of research initiatives and collaborations with European institutions. The LBJ School is also a leader in policy research with faculty concentrating on US policy, but also internationally. The Dean, moreover, is noted European/EU specialist Ambasssador Robert Hutchings, who is invested in developing European and EU studies on campus and has been working closely with CES on a number of initiatives, not least of which is the development of a joint Masters in European Studies.
School of Communications –
The School of Communications has programs in Denmark, Spain, and Finland. There are also intensive summer programs in Public Relations in Dublin, Ireland; Spanish Language and Culture in Santander, Spain; Photojournalism in Prague, Czech Republic; Communications in Erfurt, Germany; and Media and Global Change, in Salzburg, Austria.
Robert S. Strauss Center of International Security and Law –
The Strauss Center supports researchers and students on a number of projects involving international and European topics. The Center provides an extensive speaker series of academics, policy makers, and stake holders, with frequent showcases of prominent commentators on European and American foreign policy. The Center is designed so that it can focus and draw upon the vast research programs at the university and bring them together in a coherent whole, multiplying their effect and reach.
Cockrell Engineering School –
The International Engineering Education Office in the Cockrell School of Engineering provides student and research exchanges to Europe (University of Edinburgh, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, INSA-Toulouse, University College of London, and Technical University of Delft) as well as intensive summer programs in Vienna, Santadar, Cordoba, London, and Cambridge.