Prof. Constantine Arvanitopoulos
D284 Europe in the Changing World Order
In the 21st century, Europe finds itself between an introvert America, a resurgent Russia and a rising China. This course will analyze European perceptions of Trump’s “America First” doctrine and its impact on policy changes in Europe. In this context, we will examine trade issues and policies as well as changes in the European dependence on the Atlantic security structure. PESCO, the European Defense Fund, and the European Army proposals will be discussed. On the other hand, we will discuss the security challenges posed by a resurgent and revisionist Russia. The new Russian assertiveness, as evidenced in Georgia, Ukraine, the Balkans, and Syria in the Middle East, as well as its interference in the domestic politics of Western democracies will be examined. Finally, we will analyze the security and trade challenges emanating from China’s rise to global power status.
From Authoritarianism to Illiberal Democracies
This is a course on the “reverse waves” to democratic rule. In 1922, Mussolini’s coming to power marked the rise of fascism in Italy. With Hitler’s Nazism, this first “reverse wave” of authoritarianism had substantially reduced the number of democratic states by late thirties, and thrown the world into a catastrophic war. The triumph of the Allies in WWII, and the consequent expansion of democratic rule were followed by a second “reverse wave” in the Soviet space, and dictatorships in Latin America, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. The triumph of liberal democracies in the Cold War is now threatened by a third “reverse wave” with the rise of illiberal democracies and the resuscitation of authoritarianism. This course will offer a broad taxonomy of authoritarian regimes in different times, and will analyze the causes of this recurring phenomenon.
The Global Rise of Populism: Europe and Beyond
Populist parties are on the rise in Europe. From SYRIZA in Greece, Podemos in Spain, and the Five Star Movement in Italy, to Brexit and the entry of AFD to the German Parliament, Orban in Hungary and Lepen in France, the increasing electoral support of populist parties is undoing the European political landscape. The objective of this course is to analyze the phenomenon of populism. To provide definitions of populism, and examine current populist forces in Europe and their characteristics. It will also examine the ambivalent relationship between populism and democracies and assess national and international responses to the rise of populism.