Eu centers proposal submission guidelines

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Press and Public Diplomacy


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

MEZ 3.126

1 University Station A1800

Austin, TX 78712Austin, Texas 78713-8925

512-232-4311 (Phone)

512-232-3470 (Phone)
Signature of Project Principal Investigator:

EU CENTERS 2011-14

Proposal Narrative

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.
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. Similarly, policy solutions to problems are not confined by political lines of demarcation and countries have plenty to learn from each others’ solutions.
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.

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