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POL 54 — The End of the Western World (As We Know It): Whither the American-European Alliance?

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 15—Mar 12
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 4
Unit: 1
Tuition: $405
Instructor(s): Uli Bruckner
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on January 29
7:00—8:50 pm
Jan 15—Mar 12
8 weeks
Drop By
Feb 4
1 Unit
Uli Bruckner
Please Note: No class on January 29
For decades, America and Europe have remained closely connected politically, economically, and culturally. And in these fast-changing times, they also find themselves confronted by many of the same global challenges. This close working relationship, however, now risks coming to an end, or being substantially weakened. When asked to identify his “biggest foe globally right now,” President Trump put the European Union on the list, along with China and Russia.

The course addresses the question whether “the Western world” is coming to an end and discusses root causes and possible implications. As the course unfolds, we will cover a number of timely topics, including the future of NATO and why multilateralism matters, how an open society can survive the rising tide of populism, how migration is changing demographics and politics on both sides of the Atlantic, and the prospects for finding political solutions to climate change. We will even address American and European approaches to dealing with digitization and the protection of private data.

Students will need no prior knowledge of the European Union and its member states. Knowledge of the American perspective is welcome but not required. The course will be discussion-based, and include a number of illuminating studies; our goal is to increase students’ understanding of the major challenges facing the decades-old American-European alliance.

Uli Bruckner, EU Jean Monnet Professor, Stanford Bing Overseas Study Program; Lecturer in German Studies, Stanford

Uli Bruckner received a PhD from the Free University of Berlin and has been a visiting professor in Shanghai, Moscow, and Szczecin (Poland). He also works with the European Commission and the German Foreign Office, as well as in several distance learning, vocational training, and graduate programs in Berlin.