Bachelor EPA

Specializations 2016-2017

As most of you know, the second semester of the second year of the bachelor European Public Administration and Public Governance across Borders gives you the possibility to specialize in two area’s: Public Administration or European Studies. In the following pages you will find information about the modules given in each specialization. And of course you will have questions about these choices. Most of them are answered here:

  • How do I choose a specialization?
    By enrolling for the module you would like to follow in Osiris. Module enrolment is open four weeks before the start of the module, which means you can enrol for your quartile 3 module from January 9 on.
  • May I mix and match, i.e. choose modules from both specializations?
    This is allowed, but not recommended: Your diploma supplement will state you combined the specializations and did not choose either Public Administration or European Studies, which is a bit more difficult to explain to Master programmes or employers.
  • Do I have to choose certain modules to be allowed in the Master European Studies or in the Master Public Administration of University of Twente?
    No, all combinations of allowed modules in the bachelor programme give access to those masters. However it is recommended to choose modules that interest you and the same is true for your choice of Master. Would you think about choosing a master outside University of Twente, it is up to them to accept you and this can also depend on your specialization choice (and minor, and grades, and …)
  • Do I have to react fast to be allowed in?
    We like to make sure we have the right size of rooms for lectures, so as soon as you made your choice, please register for your module. However there is no first-comes first-served system, everyone is allowed in on the module s/he chooses.
  • I have many more questions! Where to go?
    We will organize a Q&A session in the second half of January to answer other questions. You can make or change your choice after this session.

Europe in Crisis?

Lecturers: Minna van Gerven (Module coordinator), Ringo Ossewaarde, Shawn Donnelly.

This Quartile 3 module is part of the European Studies specialization track of European Public Administration.

On the basis of sociological, political and socio-economic insights, the module portrays Europe in crisis in the global era. Throughout history, the European Union has faced and persevered several crises. Each of these times, experts and politicians chimed that this time the crisis is different: the economic crisis commencing from 2008 and the present migration crisis being no exceptions. This module challenges this view by 1) presenting a comprehensive look at ideological principles of the current and the past crises, 2) investigating the future of European Union in relation to its ability to govern itself in the global era and 3) analyzing the EU’s capabilities to deal with the economic, political and social consequences of the various crises it faces now (foreign policy/security, democracy, migration, financial stability) and evidently in the future. The module focuses on questions such as: What are the ruling ideologies that shape the EU? How do global challenges like economic crises, migration crises, ecological crises, security crises and crisis of democracy impact on the EU? And what is the role of power constellations in addressing global challenges? How is the current crises (economic, migration crisis) different from other crises Europe faced before and hereafter? What kind of social and political union is needed (or preferred)? Is it possible to find unity in diversity to manage current and forthcoming crises? Are the policies of Member States now adequately regulated and coordinated through the EU governance infrastructure? What are the social effects of EU-enforced policies and how does this all impact the EU’s legitimacy? Are European politics still different than general international relations?

The module has a simple set-up: it consists of two elements, which both make up 50% of the final grade. The first element is the lectures part including interactive lectures and seminars that introduced students to the relevant theories, insights, policy and governance examples and practices, and discusses these with them. The second element is the project resulting in an policy paper to advice EU Commission President. In weeks 1-7 the emphasis will be predominantly on the first part. The project, starting already in week 1, gets to full speed in weeks 8-10. The policy paper that students will write focus on one of the (free choice of) topics underlying European crisis management. The format for project work is the same for all groups and includes policy paper(s) and final presentations. The projects aim at the –further- development of analytical skills and academic writing and oral communication skills and it also includes a large individual component.

Europe and the World

Lecturers: Ramses Wessel (Module coordinator), Shawn Donnelly, Claudio Matera.

This Quartile 4 module is part of the European Studies specialization track of European Public Administration.

The module focuses on questions such as: What are the positions of the European Union and NATO as global players? What are the competences of the EU, NATO and other international institutions in dealing with non-EU states and what is still in the hands of the EU Member States? Which international relations theories can best explain these roles? What are the relations between the EU and its neighbours? Are we moving towards a ‘fortress Europe’ which shuts out others? How does and can Europe deal with imminent regional threats and secure its interests in a globalized world?

The European Union has developed legal, political and economic relations with most of the world over the last 25 years. Europe still organizes military security primarily through NATO, while organizing major diplomatic initiatives through the EU. The EU is primarily a civilian power focusing on economic relations, human security, and political and social development abroad, as well as brokering between the United States and third countries over matters of international order and security. At the same time many of the EU’s internal competences have an external dimension, in the sense that they not only concern the EU’s own Member States, but also other states (‘third states’ in EU jargon). National politicians and policy-makers feel an increasing need to understand the limits of what national states can do externally. Where states used to be competent in almost every policy area, they are now more and more restricted by the policies of the EU. Clear examples are international trade or monetary policy, where EU member states can no longer conclude international agreements with other states.

At the same time, the Member States did not cease to be ‘states’. They also wish to remain visible internationally. This may lead to difficult situations, for instance in other international organizations like the United Nations where it is not always clear whether the EU or its Member States should speak, or in NATO, where EU member states are split on how to deal with external security threats. The presence of both the EU and its Member States in international negotiations complicates European influence in areas such as development cooperation, environmental policy or foreign and security policy. Nevertheless, the EU has capacity in foreign and security policy: a ‘Foreign Ministry’ in the form of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and over 140 EU ‘embassies’ all over the world, as well as an active foreign policy strategy

This module will not only take an ‘inside-out’ perspective; it will also look at what the EU is confronted with from the ‘outside-in’. The EU is increasingly confronted with human mobility and individuals from third states are seeking opportunities and asylum within the EU, from Russia, Iran, Syria and Daesh. The internal free movement of persons rules triggers the EU to take a look at the security of its outside borders. Border control and police cooperation are therefore part of our analysis of the EU’s relation with its neighbours.

On the basis of political and legal insights, theories and practices you will learn to assess the role of Europe in the world via the EU, NATO and other international organizations. The combination of international relations and legal analysis allows us to get a clear picture of where Europeis heading. The EU’s ambitions may be restricted by (larger) Member States; or by international law and the fact that the EU is not a state. At the end of the course students will be able to apply insights from international relations theory to the global position and performance of the EU. At the same time they will be able to explain what the EU can and cannot do on the basis of EU external relations law. In a more substantive sense, the module deals with questions of peace, security and conflicts, international organizations, and human rights. Teachers in this module are well-known experts in these areas, who will continuously include outcomes of their own research projects in the weekly themes of the module as well as in the projects in which students are challenged to come up with their own answers to global problems and the role of European and international institutions.

Policy-making and planning

Lecturers: René Torenvlied (Module coordinator), Veronica Junjan, Martin Rosema, Michiel Heldeweg.

This Quartile 3 module is part of the Public Administration specialization track of European Public Administration.

The module focuses on a key issue for politicians and policy-makers: how does political decision-making translate into policies and policy performances targeted at citizens? How legitimate are these policies from a democratic perspective?

In our complex advanced world, politicians, administrators, and citizens have (highly) conflicting preferences about appropriate courses of action, for example to adopt advanced technologies, or to intervene in complex societal challenges. Such conflicting preferences arise because there often is a lack of (a) consensus in society about values, and (b) knowledge in the scientific community about problem causes. For this reason, modern democracies developed legal institutions for procedural problem-solving, such as decision-making procedures and implementation procedures. Sometimes these institutions produce legitimate policies that work well. Sometimes, however, these policies are (highly) contested. Think for example about the establishment of a joint European defense force, about the failure to open a new airport of Berlin, or failing soft drugs legislation.

This module teaches students to develop their competences in the analysis of complex decision-making and implementation processes. What makes decision-making rational and predictable? When is decision-making unpredictable? Which institutions are most effective and efficient? You will analyze, for example, how voting works in U.S. Congress and compare it with parliamentary systems. Who will win and who will lose? Do voting rules matter? Will government bureaucracy deviate from these decisions? Students use a model-guided approach, and make specific predictions about the course and outcomes of complex decision-making and implementation processes.

Parallel, we study whether the adopted decisions and performances by bureaucracy are legitimate, that is: supported by political representatives and citizens. What happens, for example, to the legitimacy of policies when elections change the political landscape? Is it possible to reverse previous policies? What are the legal opportunities and constraints to formulating preferences and procedures? When can citizens sometimes effectively block policies using legal instruments (for example policies that impose negative externalities on citizens), and when do citizens lack the legal instruments to block policies?

In the module you apply state-of-the-art knowledge from the fields of political science, public administration, and law to solve a specific problem. We build on the seminal book of Kenneth Shepsle, Analyzing Politics, which was developed as part of a Harvard core course on political science. The module consists of these elements:

  1. Analytical politics and policy (3 EC)
  2. Democratic legitimacy (3 EC)
  3. Legal institutions (2 EC)
  4. Project (7 EC)

In the project you work on practical model applications, and make predictions about the future outcomes of current events of your choice. You will (re)design current complex decision-making processes to make them more effective, efficient, and legitimate. Recent examples of student groups’ applications entail among many others: decision-making about the European air industry, the implementation of the EU anti-smoking policy directive, NATO member states’ decision to adopt the joint-strike fighter, large infrastructural programs, or the intervention of troops in Afghanistan.

The module is indispensable for anyone who aims for a career that involves policy-making, planning, and political-administrative decision-making.

Governance in action technologies

Guus Meershoek (coordinator), Jörgen Svensson, Ringo Ossewaarde, Bas Denters

This Quartile 4 module is part of the Public Administration specialization track of European Public Administration.

The rapidly changing forms of digital communication in society are transforming current modes of citizenship in European societies and forcing local, national and transnational institutions to adapt their styles of governance. Citizens are responding differently to different kinds of events; some minor events are able to have enormous impact. Government itself is using big data to analyse societal developments and to recalibrate their interventions. Professionals in public administration are using social media and smart phones to interact with citizens.

Citizens are rapidly adopting new digital devices and new forms of social communication, faster than public institutions. It changes the way their collect information, their modes of participation in society, their forms of citizenship and the way they judge public institutions. Various political and social problems like only partly integrated minorities, persistently unemployed persons, violence against political representatives, home grown terrorism and domestic violence are drawing their attention. Public institutions and political representatives are often heavily criticised. Citizens, stimulated by the new (and old) media, ask for quick solutions.

In the last two decades, public institutions have changed their modes of managing information and have started to exchange information among each other, expecting to be able to deal more effectively with social problems in this way. Nevertheless, public professionals realise that their institutions have lost and are still losing power to enforce widely accepted solutions. Professionals are trained to be more emphatic and responsive. Public goods and services are more and more often provided with the support of and in collaboration with citizens and civic organisations. The use of new digital devices is a key element of this approach. These new forms of governance penetrate deeper into the private lives of individuals and families.

Researchers recognise too that the capacity of public institutions to deal with these kinds of problems by itself is limited and that the new forms of governance have an important digital component. They realise that the new governmental arrangements demand a rethinking of policies, regulations, structures and routines and of dominant concepts like social needs and citizens’ initiatives, deviance and social control, citizenship and nudging, de-professionalization and coproduction of services.

In this module we focus on the dynamics of the interactions between public service organizations and citizens in safety. The main question dealt with is:

How can we understand and explain the new digitally mediated modes of co-production between citizens and professionals in street level governance, their impact and their effectiveness?

The module comprises of five integrated parts (comprising 15 ECTS). One of them is a project where students will conduct empirical research about the interactions between citizens and professionals and learn when and how they can successfully cooperate in dealing with important issues in safety.