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Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Strategice Plan and Themes

Main Theme for 2011-14

As its main overarching theme, the Center will specifically undertake the idea of Trans-National Policy Challenges. The Center will examine policy issues and challenges that eschew national-level policy responses. The EU will serve as an ideal case-study for the purposes of this overarching theme. Its very existence ultimately hinges on the concept that European sovereign states abrogate their sovereignty in order to maximize policy-making effectiveness on a number of policy challenges that are otherwise impossible to limit merely to national government.

Three Core Sub-Themes

The Center will address its overarching theme of trans-national policy opportunities and challenges by concentrating on three sub-themes: (1) Post-Recession Policy Challenges, (2) Geopolitics as Trans-National Policy Challenge, and (3) Law and Media.

Post-Recession Policy Challenges (2011-12)

To further focus our thematic research, the Center will concentrate on the Post-Recession Policy Challenges not only in terms of fiscal and monetary policies but also on the social impacts of the economic crisis. The kinds of topics the Center will examine include:

  • Monetary and fiscal policy
  • Intersections of local and global business practices
  • Austerity implementation and deficit reduction measures
  • Challenges to corporate/household deleveraging
  • Financial sector regulation
  • Exchange rate coordination
  • Challenge of credit rating across continents
  • Role of the investor community in shaping government responses

With these activities the Center will seek to increase understanding within Texas and the US of how Europeans define the economic and fiscal problems they face and why they favor some policy responses over others. Where appropriate, these activities will draw on lessons from the American experience that Europeans might find useful in choosing what steps to take-as well as those to avoid.

Geopolitics as Trans-National Policy Challenge (2012-13)

The Center will help UT faculty and students, as well as the broader Central Texas community, to understand the current state of play in Europe's capacities to respond to geopolitical crises-from the 2008 Russo-Georgian war to the ongoing situation in Libya-as well as the global reach of the EU. The Center will pay special attention to the rich and varied debates within Europe over the future evolution of the EU, including issues such as the EU's enlargement policy and the development and maturation of its Common Foreign and Security Policy, and to the EU's critical role in dealing with secessionist regions and frozen conflicts on its borders.

Law and Media (2013-14)

The Center will examine questions of identity and citizenship in the year 2013-14. Identity politics (defined broadly), aided by the trans-border nature of information technology, is of great importance to a frontier state like Texas, which has the second largest foreign-born population in the US. The University of Texas is home to some of the world's leading researchers on the formation, expression, and evolution of identity. The Center will provide UT students, faculty, and staff-as well as the wider Central Texas community of business people, policymakers, and not-for-profit leaders-with a forum through which to learn about Europe's experience with identity politics and to share their own experience and knowledge. The US and Europe can learn much from each other about different migrant experiences, and Austin is an ideal vantage point from which to explore changing group identities in a comparative manner.

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