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

Michael W Mosser

Lecturer PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Michael W Mosser
" Illegitimi non carborundum "

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Biography

Since Summer 2012, Dr. Michael W. Mosser has served as a lecturer with a joint appointment in the Department of Government, the Center for European Studies, and the International Relations and Global Governance (IRG) program at the University of Texas at Austin. From August 2009 to May 2012, he was a visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. From January to June 2009, he served as Associate Director of the European Union Center of Excellence and a Fellow of the Robert S. Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin. From June 2009 to May 2010, he was the initial military/education liaison for the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs Robert S. Strauss Center’s “Climate Change and African Political Stability” grant funded by the US Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative. From 2006 to 2009 he was an assistant professor at the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he taught international relations, security studies, and comparative foreign policy of Western Europe.

He has published articles in the fields of military art and science and military sociology, and is presently working on a research project re-conceptualizing military doctrine as a social construction. His latest article (co-authored with Dr. Dan Cox of SAMS), "Defense Forecasting in Theory and Practice: Conceptualizing and Teaching the Future Operating Environment," was published online at Small Wars Journal in January 2013. Previous articles include “Identimetrics: Operationalizing Identity in Counterinsurgency Operations” was published online at the e-International Relations website (http://www.e-ir.info) in March 2010 and  “The Promise and the Peril: The Social Construction of American Military Technology,” in the Whitehead Journal of International Diplomacy and International Relations, Volume XI, Number 2 (Summer/Fall 2010), pp. 91-104. In addition Mosser published the lead article in the “Puzzles Versus Problems: The Alleged Disconnect between Academics and Military Practitioners,” symposium in Perspectives on Politics 8:4 (December 2010), pp. 1077-1086, as well as “The Myth of a Global Insurgency: The Dangers of Mistaking Coherence for Capability,” in JFQ: Joint Force Quarterly, 56:1 (January 2010), pp. 140-143. While at SAMS, he published the lead article of a series on the military role in the amnesty, reconciliation and reintegration (AR2) process entitled “The ‘Armed Reconciler:’ The Military Role in the Amnesty, Reconciliation, and Reintegration Process,” Military Review, Vol. 87 (Nov./Dec. 2007), pp. 13-19.

 

 

EUS 348 • Compr Notion European Security

36685 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 136
(also listed as GOV 365N )
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Course concept

International security, a subfield of international relations, examines the nature of the international states system. It specifically focuses on what is known as the ‘security dilemma,’ the idea (or myth, depending on your theoretical predilection) that states in the international system desire above all to remain secure and extant, and will do whatever necessary to avoid becoming less secure or even disappearing entirely. Questions of how or whether it is necessary or even possible to cooperate to achieve security were seen as peripheral.

Recently, many scholars and practitioners have begun to question the state-centric approach to international security, as well as its focus on power, rivalries, and conflict. Instead, these scholars and practitioners have begun to speak of  ‘comprehensive’ security, or the ‘comprehensive approach’ to international security. Besides being a good catchphrase, what does comprehensive security mean? What does it entail? “Comprehensive security” has a variety of connotations, depending on the context in which the idea is presented, but generally most agree on the idea of a more all-encompassing, holistic understanding of ‘security’ than that embraced by traditional international relations theories. Part of the rationale for this course is to unpack some of the themes underpinning the various ‘flavors’ of comprehensive security, (among others, its human, economic, environmental dimensions).

One of the regions of the world where the notion of ‘comprehensive’ security has been most explicitly theorized and implemented is in Europe. Thus the course pays special attention to this region of the world and examines the practical aspects of comprehensive security via the institutions charged with implementing it: the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Part One: Theories of international security (three weeks)

This part of the course investigates the underlying theoretical premises of international security, with special emphasis on:

  • Theories of conflict and cooperation, covering topics such as realism, institutionalism, constructivism, democratic peace theory.
  • Theories of influence, covering topics such as soft power, deterrence & coercion, domestic politics and influence, credibility, norms and institutions as influencers of behavior.

Part Two: The idea of comprehensive security (three weeks):

This section of the course takes the theoretical precepts gained from Part One and applies them to the newly emerging idea within international security that true international (and regional) security must take into account factors beyond mere state survival. To that end, the idea of ‘comprehensive’ security is raised, bringing into play a more nuanced view of international security. In this section, we will examine various ways in which comprehensive security has been thought about. Primarily, we will explore the idea of ‘human’ security that developed out of the 1994 UN Human Development Report, which has seven constituent elements:

  1. Economic security
  2. Food security
  3. Health security
  4. Environmental security
  5. Personal security
  6. Community security
  7. Political security

The section will begin with a survey of the general concept of human security, then move to a treatment of four of its components: economic, health and environmental, and community security. The section will conclude with a discussion of security sector reform as the means to establishing lasting peace in post-conflict societies, a key facet in any discussion of post Cold War comprehensive security.

Part Three: The practice of comprehensive security in Europe: case studies (ten weeks):

In Part Three of the course, we look at ways in comprehensive security has been implemented in Europe.  We look specifically at European notions of comprehensive security, focusing on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union (EU).

Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets each day. The readings will be accessible via Blackboard and the average reading load per class is between 40 and 60 pages.

Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a midterm exam grade, a take-home final exam grade, a short paper grade and a discussion/participation grade:

Exams: 50%

As this class is an upper-division course, a major portion of the grade for the course will consist of exams, consisting of a midterm exam and a take-home final exam. Both the midterm and the take-home final exam will be worth 25% of your course grade.

Paper: 30%

The paper for this class will be a short (2000 word) exploratory paper on the topic of your choice (within the framework of the materials covered in class). Such a paper should be a reasonably thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. The paper should be no more than 2000 words in length. Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise 30% of your total grade for the course. The paper grade itself will be divided into four sections:

 

a)              Topic proposal: Worth 10% of paper grade (3% of course grade).

b)             Topic outline and list of references: Worth 20% of paper grade (6% of course grade).

c)              First draft of paper: Worth 20% of paper grade (6% of course grade).

d)             Final draft of paper:  Worth 50% of paper grade (15% of course grade).

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%


Class discussion in a an upper-level seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed at the first and second class sessions for you to sign up to lead a discussion. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



So that we can discuss points raised in the online postings in Thursday’s class, discussion questions for the week on which I am lecturing will be due by 5:00 pm every Wednesday (unless directed otherwise). They should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments.

Extra credit (up to 6 points):

Students who attend an academic lecture/event dealing with an international/global issue and hand in a typed, one-page summary may receive a 3 point increase on an exam grade.  No more than two lectures/events total may count.  Summaries must be turned in within 5 days of the event.

EUS 348 • European Environmntl Politics

37020 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am JES A209A
(also listed as GOV 365N )
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Course concept

Environmental politics is one area where Europe arguably leads the world. Europe has, at both the national and European-Union level, committed itself to achieving reductions in carbon emissions far greater than anywhere else in the world.

This course will examine the history of environmental politics in both the member states of the European Union and the EU itself. Beginning with a conceptual treatment of general environmental politics and policies, the course moves to a history of European environmentalism, before shifting to a discussion on the institutional responses at important ‘traditional’ Member States (Germany, France, Italy and the UK) as well as ‘new‘ Member States (Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary). The final section of the course examines EU environmental policies themselves, such as the EU Emissions Trading System and its institutional commitment to meeting Kyoto Protocol goals.

Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a midterm exam grade, a take-home final exam grade, a short paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. Grade percentages are as follows:

Exams: 50%

As this class is an upper-division course, a major portion of the grade for the course will consist of exams, consisting of a midterm exam and a take-home final exam. Both the midterm and the take-home final exam will be worth 25% of your course grade.

Paper: 30%

The paper for this class will be a short (2000 word) exploratory paper on one of the five topics chosen by the instructor. Such a paper should be a reasonably thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. The paper should be no more than 2000 words in length. Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise 30% of your total grade for the course. The paper grade itself will be divided into four sections:

 

     Topic choice: due 31 January . Worth 10% of paper grade (3% of course grade).

     Topic outline and list of references: due 14 February. Worth 20% of paper grade (6% of course grade).

     First draft of paper:  due 21 March.  Worth 20% of paper grade (6% of course grade).

     Final draft of paper: due 2 May.  Worth 50% of paper grade (15% of course grade).

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%

Class discussion in a an upper-level seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed at the first and second class sessions for you to sign up to lead a discussion. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.

 

So that we can discuss points raised in the online postings in Thursday’s class, discussion questions for the week on which I am lecturing will be due by 5:00 pm every Wednesday (unless directed otherwise). They should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments.

A word on late or missed assignments. Over the course of the semester, it is inevitable that some event will cause a time management issue, which might lead to a missed assignment deadline. Though normally handled on a case-by-case basis, there are some baseline penalties for missed or delayed assignments, detailed here:

     Late topic choices will receive a 1% deduction per day before grading.

     Late topic outline and list of references will receive a 2% deduction per day before grading.

     Late paper drafts will receive a 5% deduction per day before grading.

     Missed exams will receive a 5% deduction per day until made up.

     Discussion postings will not be counted on an individual-post basis, but will be examined throughout the semester for evidence of consistent posting. Do not expect to “catch-up” post only at the end of the semester and receive full participation credit.

EUS 348 • Compr Notion European Security

36825 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 136
(also listed as GOV 365N )
show description

This course covers a topic dealing with European Economics, Government, Business, and/or Policy.

EUS 348 • Europ Union/Regional Integratn

36830 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 306
(also listed as GOV 365N )
show description

This course covers a topic dealing with European Economics, Government, Business, and/or Policy.

EUS 348 • European Environmental Politic

36549 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am JES A209A
(also listed as GOV 365N )
show description

Course Concept:

This course examines environmental politics in the European Union. While its constituent Member States have long been recognized as leaders in environmental action, the European Union itself has also in recent years established a supranational regulatory environment that attempts to forestall negative effects of climate change through a combination of market incentives and EU-level regulations. During the course of the semester, students will be exposed not only to European-level environmental regulation examples, but also will learn how Europe is providing an alternative perspective to other regions of the world as they deal with the impacts of climate change on their citizens and territories.

 

Course Objectives:

This course will examine a wide range of topics centered around the notion of European environmental politics. Some of these include:

  •  The institutions of the EU and their relationship with the EU Member States in the area of environmental politics;

 

  • The EU’s involvement in transatlantic and multilateral environmental agreements;

 

  • EU climate and energy policy.

 

Assignments and Grading:

Research question proposal for research paper                         5%

Research paper draft                                                                15%

Research paper                                                                        20%

Mid-term (in-class)                                                                 25%

Final exam (take home)                                                           25%

Weekly discussion questions                                                  10%

 

Readings:

Readings will include EU primary source documents, as well as other materials posted to Blackboard in the weeks leading up to class. Reading load averages ~100 pages per week.

 

 

EUS 348 • Compr Notion European Security

36507 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 116
show description

This course covers a topic dealing with European Economics, Government, Business, and/or Policy.

EUS 348 • Europ Union/Regional Integratn

36508 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 306
(also listed as GOV 365N )
show description

Prerequisites

None (but Comparative Politics and especially European Politics recommended)

 

Course Description

This course is designed to provide students with a detailed introduction to the European Union, one of America?s major economic  and political partners and one of the major actors (and problem areas)  in contemporary international relations. In this course students will  learn how the EU came about, how the EU component institutions are  designed and how they work with each other, and how the EU functions  in international relations. Students will also be able to more fully understand the causes and consequences of the European sovereign debt crisis that threatens to undermine not merely the euro currency but the survival of the entire European Union itself.

During the first part of the course, students will be exposed to the  geopolitical history of the EU from its beginning as a supranational  organization designed to regulate the coal and steel economic sectors  to its present status as the political and economic force second only to the United States. Students will also learn to think about the European Union in theoretical terms and will explore various theoretical explanations for the creation and continuation of the European integration project. In Part Two, students will learn the history and politics of the EU?s major treaties. Part Three examines the EU?s major decision-making institutions, specifically the Council of Ministers, the Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Court of Justice. In Part Four, the course will examine some major EU policies and their consequences, and Part Five looks at the future of the EU.

The research requirement for this course will consist of a structured policy memo with individual sections integrated into a cohesive whole. Students will be divided into research teams by the end of week one. Working in those teams over the course of the semester, students will be given a current or potential problem area for the European Union from the case studies and, using the political and economic history learned during the course of the semester, develop a strategy memo for  EU leaders. Students will present their memos to the class in the last meetings of the semester.

Student Learning Outcomes: At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to analyze the European Union across time and space. Students will achieve a  comprehensive understanding of the European Union, and will be able to synthesize complex arguments concerning alternative mans of  international organization. Students will conduct collaborative research and present evaluative arguments in a group setting.

 

Grading Policy

Grading and Assignments:

Grading for this course will be composed of a combination of an end-of-the-semester map quiz, in-class formal exams, student presentations, and in-class (and electronic) discussion. The map quiz will count for 5% of your grade. There will be two midterm exams which together will count for 30% of the course grade. Each midterm will  cover only the portion of the course before it (or between it and the prior exam, in the case of the second midterm). The cumulative final exam will count for 35% of the grade, while the student presentations will count for 20% (10% individual and 10% group). In-class/online discussion will count for 10% of your grade.

Grading Standards:

I will use the following grade standards. Grades for individual assignments will be weighted according to the scale in the preceding paragraph. All grades given during the course of the semester will be converted to a 100-point scale. Group projects will be given both a group grade and an individual grade.

93 >            A

90-92         A-

87-89         B+

80-86         B

77-79         B-

75-76         C+

70-74         C

67-69         C-

60-66         D

< 60            F

 

Texts

Required:

Neill Nugent, The Government and Politics of the European Union  

(7th edition)

The Economist magazine. Students are required to sign up for at  

least 12 issues (more if they choose). See  

https://www.economistsubscriptions.com/students/us/ for subscription  

information.

Readings from the official EU website (http://www.europa.eu)

Readings from various scholarly journals or books, available online at the Blackboard site or as in-class handouts.

 

Recommended Readings:

Nathaniel Copsey and Tim Haughton (eds.) The JCMS Annual Review of  the European Union in 2009 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)

It is also a good idea to follow European events via contemporary news sources such as the New York Times or the Christian Science Monitor, or the Economist. Attempting to garner an in-depth understanding of European events via local news sources is not recommended.

 

EUS 348 • Europ Union/Regional Integratn

35668 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm RLM 7.116
(also listed as GOV 365N )
show description

This course covers a topic dealing with European Economics, Government, Business, and/or Policy.

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