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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

John Graeber

MA, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University; BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

John Graeber


  • Office: Mezes 3.224
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00–11:00 am (and by appointment)


My dissertation examines citizenship acquisition in Western Europe. Who naturalizes, and under what conditions? I answer this question by examining the divergent socioeconomic conditions that encourage or discourage immigrant interest in naturalization and the shifting electoral incentives of political actors to confer citizenship.The project compares these conditions across nine Western European countries and three decades, with additional subnational analyses conducted among the German and Austrian Länder. It also casts new light on the relationship between naturalization and its effects on immigrant integration. Other ongoing work includes a formalized examination of the electoral motivations behind citizenship policy change as well as a model for explaining immigrant integration.




Citizenship policy, immigration politics, immigrant integration, transnationalism, European politics, public attitudes toward immigration

GOV 324L • Govs & Polit Of Western Europe

37694 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 1.106
(also listed as EUS 350 )
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Europe has experienced major change since World War II, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to European enlargement, with Croatia increasing the size of the EU to 28 member states. European integration, and ethnic conflict have presented major challenges for the governments of Western Europe. The current fiscal crisis has complicated politics in the EU, and challenged the survival of both the Euro and the broader European project. This course will introduce the governments and politics of countries in Western Europe and a comparative politics approach will be used.

GOV 365N • Europ Union/Regional Integratn

38945 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 306
(also listed as EUS 348 )
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Course overview and structure

One of the most remarkable political experiments of the last half-century has been the creation and development of the European Union. In a matter of decades, a continent once ravaged by two world wars has been transformed into a bloc of twenty-eight states all governed by a common set of treaties and institutions. Today, not only does the EU encompass over 500 million people and one of the world’s largest economies; it is also a highly relevant political actor in just about any international policy or issue of substance. However, the European Union remains one of the most intriguing and complex political systems in the modern world, not just for casual outside observers, but for its own citizens as well as for scholars. What is the European Union exactly? How did the EU originate, and why has it evolved the way it has to date? Is it an international organization, a state, or something else entirely? Who actually makes the decisions for Europe today?

This course will 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 we will first encounter the geopolitical history of the EU from its beginning as an organization designed to regulate Europe’s coal and steel economic sectors to its present status as a political and economic power 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. We’ll also explore the history and politics of the EU's major treaties. Next, we will examine the EU’s major decision-making institutions in detail, how they are designed and how they relate to one another, with member states, and with the international community. Finally, the course will conclude with an investigation of some major EU policy areas and challenges, as well as a look at the future of the EU following the Euro crisis and the 2014 elections.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Identify accurately, both orally and in writing, the major events and political actors shaping the origins and historical development of the European Union;
  • Describe, in their own words, the governance and administration of the EU with reference to the EU’s major decision-making institutions;
  • Assess, both orally and in writing, the various theoretical explanations for the creation and continuation of the European integration project;
  • Formulate in writing a well-argued and well-informed policy memo for a specific issue facing the EU today based on a critical evaluation of various perspectives on the issue and a careful consideration of their implications;
  • Exhibit, both orally and in writing, a nuanced appreciation of the European Union’s strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, and the reasons for them 

Course Requirements

The graded course requirements will consist of two one-page response papers, two exams, a short five-to-seven page policy memo, and participation based on class discussion and pop quiz questions. 

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 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

Required Readings/Books for Purchase

  • Neill Nugent, The Government and Politics of the European Union (7th edition)
  • Readings from various scholarly journals or news sources, available online at the Blackboard site or as in-class handouts. 

Recommended Readings

  • Brent Nelson and Alexander Stubb, The European Union: Readings on the Theory and Practice of Integration (3rd edition – available from
  • Sources for current events in the EU: Students are strongly encouraged to follow European events via contemporary news sources so that we may discuss them in class. I recommend euobserver at, the Economist at, and the Financial Times at The Economist and FT offer special students rates for students during the semester.
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