Courses 2009

European Monetary Union

Ernest Gnan/Aurel Schubert July 20 - July 31 4 ECTS credits


In no other area has European integration advanced as much as in the monetary area. By joining the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) many member countries of the European Union have given up their national currencies and their monetary sovereignty and have created a common monetary area with a joint central banking system (Eurosystem) and a common European currency (euro). With the introduction of the euro-bills and -coins in 2002, Europe finally also received a strong common symbol. At the same time, the US-dollar received a potential competitor for its role as the dominant international currency. Parallel to that process, ten countries – mainly from Central and Eastern Europe – joined the European Union in May 2004, and two additional ones in 2007. Since then all these countries have been preparing their economies to meet the requirements of a membership in the EMU and indeed, some of them have already entered the euro area.

The course aims at providing students with in-depth knowledge of economic issues related to EMU, in order to enable them to form their own views on this and related topics. A practical negotiation exercise, which simulates a meeting ofthe European Central Bank’s Governing Council, will enhance the learning experience.


The course will cover the following topics:

  • History and rationale of monetary integration in Europe
  • Application of open economy macroeconomics to EMU issues
  • Costs and benefits of a monetary union - theory of optimal currency areas
  • EMU and fiscal policy coordination ("Stability and Growth
  • Pact")
  • The euro and structural reform - the Lisbon agenda
  • The workings of the Eurosystem and of the single monetary policy (monetary policy goal, strategy, and instruments)
  • EMU@10 - What has been achieved/which challenges are still lying ahead?
  • The euro as an international currency
  • The Euro and financial stability
  • Enlargement of the euro area - Central and Eastern Europe and the euro


This course is regularly organized with the support of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).




The Institutional Framework of the European Union

Christine Neuhold July 20 - July 31 4 ECTS credits


The course will focus on the unique political system of the European Union. Students will be introduced to the main institutions playing a role in the decision-making process and to some of the main decision-making procedures. Furthermore an introduction will be given to the legal order of the EU by covering the main sources of Community Law.

The course very much builds on the active participation of participants. Simulations and debates will form an integral part of the program.


The first part of the course will focus on the Institutional Framework of the EU by examining:

  • Some basic theories relating to the EU and their implications for the EU institutions.
  • The main sources of Community Law and where relevant their repercussions on the institutional framework.
  • The role of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers within the EU’s institutional framework (and where relevant their evolution during the process of European integration). The role of the Court of Justice (will be examined only briefly).

This section will conclude with a debate within small groups, where issues such as legitimacy and efficiency of the institutions will be discussed. If possible each group should focus on a different institution, by way of basic questions (which can be modified). Participants will be asked to report back to plenary.


The second part will concentrate on decision making within the European system by looking at:

  • Some of the main decision making procedures such as consultation and codecision
  • The role of non-institutional actors such as NGOs in the EU’s decision making process

This part will close with a simulation on a Council Working Party (participants will “negotiate” on behalf of different member states). “Country-mandates” and instructions will be provided.


Requirements: Class participation including debate and simulation (40 %) and an essay exam (60 %).

It is recommended to take this course in conjunction with Prof. Schima’s course: European Community Law. The Contribution of the European Court of Justice.




Turning Points in 20th Century Central Europe

Selected Problems of Contemporary History

Karl Vocelka July 20 - July 31 4 ECTS credits


Central Europe has undergone a series of dramatic economic, political and cultural changes in the 20th century. Monarchies transformed into republics, republics into fascist or communist dictatorships, and totalitarian systems have now been replaced by a new democratic order. The study of some of these developments will allow a deeper insight into the history of the Central European countries and their feelings of identity. Specific problems of Central Europe will be discussed in relation to the history and politics of the home countries/nations of the participating students.


1918 The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy

  • The nationality problem
  • From the balanced economy of a large empire to the small-scale-national economies of the successor states
  • Parties and their political ideology


1933 – 1934 – 1938 The Rise of Non-Democratic Governments

  • Political terms such as “totalitarianism”, “fascism” and “authoritarian government” will be discussed
  • A comparison of Austro-Fascism, Italian Fascism, National Socialism and other variations of fascist movements
  • The destruction of a culture. The expulsion of the Jewish population. The Holocaust


1945 The End of WWII and the Beginning of the Cold War

  • Economic problems between reconstruction and collectivization
  • NATO vs. Warsaw Pact
  • Austria's role as a neutral country since 1955


1968 The Students’ Revolution – Mental Changes in Western Europe

  • Generation protest
  • Neomarxism
  • Educational reforms
  • Sexual revolution


1989 A Chance for a New Beginning or a Rude Awakening

  • Political, economic and cultural changes and problems in post-communist countries
  • Central Europe and the European Union
  • The “new” Nationalism and its impact on Central Europe


Requirements: Attendance and participation in class discussions constitute 20%, a short paper 30% and a written final (essay-type) 50% of the grade.




Europe Beyond the Nation State

Peter Gerlich July 20 - July 31 4 ECTS credits


As the international system changes after the Cold War, the reference of nation states is increasingly called into question. The concepts of union or of empire are often invoked as alternatives. Analogies are drawn between historical experiences and contemporary developments. These are either realistic or idealistic. The U.S. are frequently described as a modern Rome, while the EU more often is put into a utopian perspective. Combining approaches of political theory, of the history of international relations and of modern comparative political science, this course will try to look into and discuss these and related questions.


Topics include:

I. Empires in history

  • The logic of empires
  • Ancient empires: Athens and Rome
  • The British Empire


II. Union experiences

  • Rise and fall of nation states
  • Unions in comparison
  • The United States of America as union and empire


III. European visions

  • The EU as a superstate
  • The EU as a cosmopolitan empire
  • The Europeanization of the world


Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in class discussion (30%) and a final written exam (70%).




European Private Law – The Civilian Tradition

Franz-Stefan Meissel July 20 - July 31 4 ECTS credits


The course offers a historical and comparative introduction to European Private Law. Today’s variety of legal systems in Europe can´t be properly understood without reference to European Legal History. Thus, one part of the course will be devoted to the development of European Private Law and the specific contribution of the Civilian Tradition. Particular attention is to be paid to the dominant forces of law making in the different legal systems: magistrates and legal experts in Ancient Roman Law, professors and clergymen in Medieval Law, judges in the Common Law and legislators in Modern Continental Law.

Furthermore, basic concepts of Private Law such as property, contracts and extra contractual obligations will be dealt with in this course in a comparative perspective. This will be done mainly in form of discussions about specific cases ranging from the transfer of movables to the restitution of assets to Nazi victims, from the discussion about ”good faith” in European Contract Law to claims of an agent of necessity. Special emphasis will be placed on the discussion of possible solutions, the analysis of court decisions and the evaluation of legislative choices.


I. Lawyers, Judges, Legislators. The Making of European Law

  • The different meanings of the term “European Private Law”, the Question of a European Civil Code
  • Roman Law: The Jurists´ Role in the Development of Law as a Science
  • Medieval Law: The Scholarship of the Professors of Civil and Canon Law
  • The Emergence of Common Law as opposed to Civil Law: Judges as Law Makers
  • The Codification(s) of Private Law in Continental Europe


II. Case Studies in European Private Law

  • Property (The Concept of Property, Transfer of Property)
  • Acquisition in Good Faith: the Mahler-Werfel Restitution Case as an example
  • Liberty of Contract and Equality in Exchange
  • Good Faith in European Contract Law
  • Extra contractual Obligations: the Witty Genealogist’s Case


Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions (40%) and an open-book essay exam (60%).




European Security after the Cold War

Hanspeter Neuhold July 20 - July 31 4 ECTS credits


1. Basic Security Strategies:

  • collective defence
  • collective security
  • cooperative security
  • neutrality


2. European Security after the End of the East-West Conflict:
The new structure of the international system: between unipolarity and global interdependence.

  • good news:
    • the new pan-European value platform and the theory of democratic peace
    • progress in the areas of European integration and security cooperation
    • steps towards disarmament

  • bad news:
    • the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
    • new dimensions of terrorism and organized crime
    • ecological security: climate change as a security problem
    • energy security
    • migration and refugee movements
    • health as a security problem
    • food security


3. Global, Transatlantic and European Security Institutions:

  • the UN: its mixed record after the Cold War
  • NATO: the “new NATO” after 9/11 and the Iraq crisis of 2003
  • the EU: economic giant – political and military dwarf?
  • the OSCE: the possibilities and limitations of pan-European cooperative security


Requirements: Students will have a choice between a final oral or written exam on which the final grade will be mainly based; participation in class during the course will also be taken into account.




European and International Protection of Human Rights

Ursula Kriebaum August 3 - August 14 4 ECTS credits


Human rights are arguably the only universally recognized value system at the beginning of a new millennium. They constitute the main source of governmental legitimacy and at the same time set limits to governmental power. They represent guidelines for interaction between human beings, groups and peoples, and they provide limitations to the forces of neo-liberalism in a globalized society.

This is a survey course on international human rights (law) and existing mechanisms to promote and protect them. It deals with the history and philosophy of human rights and their place within the global legal and political system. Using case studies and practical examples, the course focuses on the meaning of selected human rights provisions and introduces the methods and principles of the practical application of human rights. It covers topics such as the UN and regional systems for human rights promotion, protection and enforcement, as well as the role of national institutions, including the judiciary, in implementing human rights.


Requirements: Regular attendance and participation in class discussion (20%) and a final exam (80%).


This course is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Marina Fistoulari Mahler.




European Political Systems

Sylvia Kritzinger August 3 - August 14
4 ECTS credits


This course familiarizes students with the major theoretical, empirical and substantive issues in contemporary European politics.

First, the course offers a short overview of the basic concepts and notions of comparative politics with a particular focus on the organizing principles of democracy.

Second, it examines the governmental institutions, electoral systems, party systems, policymaking practices and social cleavages of Europe.

Third, it describes and analyzes political systems of the EU Member States as well as the European Union along the theoretical lines presented.

The course aims at deepening the understanding of the main debates in contemporary comparative politics.


Requirements: Performance will be assessed on the basis of attendance and participation in class discussions (20 %), a short presentation on a EU Member State (30%) reporting and reflecting critically the basic concepts and notions of comparative politics, and a written final exam (essay-type) (50%).




European Community Law

Bernhard Schima August 3 - August 14
4 ECTS credits

This course is designed to help students understand the system of judicial protection in European Community Law and the importance of the contribution of the European Court of Justice to the development of constitutional principles of Community Law.


This course will:

  • discuss the various judicial remedies in the Community legal order with particular emphasis on the infringement procedure and the preliminary reference procedure
  • show how the Court of Justice derived the basic constitutional principles of direct effect and supremacy, governing the relationship between Community Law and national legal orders
  • highlight how the Court of Justice in its case-law has contributed to making Community Law more effective for the benefit of the individual by developing the concept of Member State liability for violations of Community Law
  • examine the Court’s contribution to the development of fundamental rights in the Community legal order
  • study the impact of these principles by looking at concrete examples taken from different areas of substantive law (e. g. the internal market, competition rules, environmental law).


Requirements: Performance will be assessed on the basis of a short quiz at the end of the first week and a written final exam.

This course is recommended for students with prior knowledge of the institutions of the European Union or who have taken Prof. Christine Neuhold’s course: The Institutional Framework of the European Union.




Law and Information Society in Europe

Nikolaus Forgó August 3 - August 14
4 ECTS credits


This course will focus on European and global trends in the legal regulation of information and communication technologies. Specific attention will be attributed to copyright, identity management, consumer protection and privacy in a globalized information society. We will work on the relevant European directives and compare them with other legal, technical and social approaches.



  • Law as Code and Code as Law? The relations between technical, social, economical and legal forms of regulation
  • Regulation of Information: The European approach
  • Transparency, Privacy and Data Protection: outdated concepts in an information society?
  • Identity, Authenticity and Security in a globalized network-environment


Recommended Reading: Lawrence Lessig, Code and other Laws of Cyberspace; additional texts and cases will be distributed throughout the course.

Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions (40%) and an open-book essay exam (60%).




Corporate Finance and Governance

European, Asian, and American Settings

Peter MacKay August 3 - August 14
4 ECTS credits


Mergers and acquisitions, corporate activism, sub-prime crisis, rogue traders, corporate scandals, fraud, insider trading, accountability, transparency, options, incentives, compensation, corporate culture, ethics, business law, …

These terms fill the business press, but what do they have in common? They all relate, directly or indirectly, to corporate governance. This course will help students make sense of these terms – and many others – and understand how they all fit together. After examining the incentive problems facing organizations, we study some of the solutions advanced by researchers and the related empirical evidence. We then review and contrast the corporate governance systems of Europe, Asia, and the USA aided by a few cases specific to each of these regions.

As recent experience shows, the notion of optimal governance is utopic. Usually admired for its innovative capital markets, the USA offer as many examples of failed governance as success stories. Over-incentivized managers, obsessed by amassing wealth and private control benefits, operated unchecked until excessive greed led to their demise (Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, etc.). The resulting tightening of Corporate Governance Law (Sarbanes-Oxley), while addressing some issues, is critiqued as over-zealous and harmful to American competitiveness. Of course, Europe and Asia have their own share of corporate scandals and governance challenges (Parmalat, LGT tax evasion, Barings Bank, Society Générale, tainted foods in China, Samsung, etc.).

While such high-profile cases are captivating, they do not convey the more mundane but equally important governance problems that organizations face: How to stimulate performance without also encouraging illegal or unethical behavior? Who should sit on the board of directors? What is the best ownership structure (private or public, concentrated or dispersed)? Etc.

An important finding in the literature is that although governance systems vary widely across countries, certain groupings do emerge, notably along legal lines (Common versus Civil Law). How does the institutional infrastructure differ across Europe, Asia, and America? What explains the differences? Is one system better than another? These are some of questions we will address.


Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions (30%), a mid-course quiz (20%), and an open-book exam or a short case write-up (50%).




The Language of European Cinema

Jyoti Mistry August 3 - August 14
4 ECTS credits


European cinema is the indelible mark from which the language of cinema has been forged. The political and social conditions of Europe pre- and post WWII shaped the styles and modes of cinematic representation that have since been appropriated and translated into American mainstream cinema.

Against the backdrops of European political, social and art history, students will be provided with an overview of the key movements in European cinema history. From the influence of Soviet cinemas intervention with montage (Eisenstein, Vertov) to the impact of German Expressionism (Murnau) on cinematic aesthetics, to the influence of Surrealism (Bunuel) and narrative shifts in cinema in post WWII Europe with the French Nouvelle Vague (Godard) and Italian Neo-realism (De Sica). The course will also introduce students to the seminal auteurs of these movements and show how the personal visions and signatures of these European directors have informed contemporary visual culture.

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the most seminal movements in European cinema. No prior background in cinema history is necessary. Students who have an intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for history of art, cinema and its aesthetics will find the course stimulating and interesting. Seminars will include film screenings, film clips and discussion which make class attendance and participation integral to the course.


Requirements: Attendance and participation constitutes 20% of the grade. Students will be expected to write a film appreciation assignment (3-4 pages) which constitutes 40% of the grade and an essay of 6–7 pages (40%). There will be no exam for this course.