UTFacultiesBMSCentre CESAbout CESOur mission and vision

Our mission and vision

The referent object of our teaching in (Global and) European Studies and European Public Administration is the multilevel character of European governance. In general, the term multilevel governance expresses the complexity of contemporary policy-making by emphasizing the need to go beyond traditional ways of thinking. ‘Multilevel’ points at the intertwinement of local, regional, national, continental and global oriented governmental institutions. These institutions and their agents are functioning in an open ‘multilevel’ structure rather than closed sub-state, state, and interstate structures. In EU Studies, the component ‘multilevel’ points at the intertwinement of political processes at the regional level (‘Europe of the Regions’), the level of the member-states and the level of the EU institutions in (mainly) Brussels.

There is no consensus about the definition of governance. In general, ‘governance’ refers to the intertwinement of public and private spheres, pulling attention to a new division of labour between them. The debate is to what extent societies are (and should!) be ruled by market forces, state power and/or civil society organisations. Questions of legitimacy, legal order, societal stability, privatisation and public responsibility intertwine – and require multidisciplinary approaches.

Multilevel governance is also the overarching theme in our research programmes. While staff members are pioneering at the edges of understanding multilevel governance, teaching focuses on the institutional and the thematic contexts of European governance:

The institutional context:

The thematic context:

Both contexts are squared with theoretical and methodological insights and questions from four basic disciplines: economics, law, political science and sociology, as well as their interdisciplinary contexts.

European Studies provides standard knowledge of and theoretical insight in:

Each of the sub-themes forms a specialisation by itself. The strength of the programmes consists of the combination of disciplinary perspectives: a graduated student surveys the width of issue-areas and knows where to find specialised expertise to work out comprehensive policy scenarios. Therefore, he or she can arrive at policy-oriented insights that cannot be expected from specialists in specific sub-fields.