Continuing Studies Course POL 142

The Puzzle of European Politics: Democracy, Markets, and International Relations

(Winter Quarter 2003/2004)

Hans N. Weiler, Instructor

Welcome to the website for my winter quarter (2003/2004) course on European politics. Even though the course has ended, I will continue posting some interesting material here from time to time.

Posted 4/06/04: More on fault lines in French politics

The Winter 2004 issue of Dissent has a very interesting article by Richard Wolin on "Fault Lines on the Left: French Intellectuals and the Socialist Party" (click on the article in the Table of Contents).

Posted 4/05/04: Alan Wolfe's article

Here is an interesting article by Alan Wolfe of Boston College on the strange resemblances between German intellectual history and American politics. The usual disclaimer: no partisan claims are intended here, but the argument is fascinating.

Posted 3/03/04: Slide show on new EU constitution; Moravcsik book

I will briefly summarize the proposals for a new constitution of the EU next week in class, but if you are interested in a little more detail and background, there is a very good slide show on the web that you can click through for a step-by-step review of the EU's proposed future.

The book by Andrew Moravcsik from which I quoted on Tuesday is "The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht" (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998).

Posted 3/03/04: Eurobarometer Websites; Reading suggestions

Here are the websites where you find the Eurobarometer data used in class last night (and almost illegible on the handout) on the EU-15 (EB 60 of February 2004) and on the comparisons between EU-15 and the "Candidate Countries" (EB 60 - CC-EB of December 2003.

Also, I am pleased to pass along a number of reading suggestions provided by one of you on "the new anti-Semitism" and "U.S. - European relations".

Posted 3/01/04: References on Poland

As promised, here is a selection of the books on Poland that I have found particularly helpful:

By one of the most incisive observer of Polish politics past and present: Adam Michnik, Letters from Prison and Other Essays, Berkeley 1985; Letters from Freedom: Post-Cold War Realities and Perspectives, Berkeley 1998.
On the Polish "transition": Marjorie Castle, Triggering Communism's Collapse: Perceptions and Power in Poland's Transition,Lanham MD 2003. Harald Wydra, Continuities in Poland's Permanent Transition, New York 2000. Michal Bukowski et al. (ed.), Poland Beyond Communism: "Transition" in Critical Perspective, Fribourg 2001. Michael Orenstein, Out of the Red: Building Capitalismm and Democracy in Postcommunist Europe, Ann Arbor 2001.
On contemporary Poland: Janice Bell, The Political Economy of Reform in Post-Communist Poland, Cheltenham 2001. George Sanford, Democratic Government in Poland: Constitutional Politics since 1989, New York, 2002. Gregorz Weclawowicz, Contemporary Poland: Space and Society, Boulder 1996.
On the "Solidarity" movement: Arista Maria Cirtautas, The Polish Solidarity Movement: Revolution, Democracy, and Natural Rights, London 1997.

Posted 2/29/04: New York Times on France

Todd Wilde has drawn my attention to an article in todays New York Times Magazine entitled "A Frenchman or a Jew?". As the issue has generated a great deal of interest (and controversy) in class, I wanted to share the link with you. I'll be happy to post other material on the issue if you point it out to me.

Posted 2/25/04: Szymborska poem

As per your request, here is the text of the poem by Wislawa Szymborska that I shared with you in Tuesday's class.

Posted 2/23/04: Stasi and Iraq

Brad Bauer has drawn my attention to an interesting piece in the Christian Science Monitor on how the management of the East German Secret Service ("Stasi") files is being considered as a possible model for dealing with past regime misdeeds in Iraq.

Posted 2/18/04: Literature on France

Here are the references to some of the books that I have found particularly useful in the preparation of my lecture on France:

For a very good overview from different perspectives: Charles Sowerwine, France since 1870: Culture, Politics and Society, New York 2001; Sudhir Hazareesingh, Political Traditions in Modern France, Oxford 1994; James F. Hollifield and George Ross, Searching for the New France, New York 1991 (the two pieces in the course reader are taken from this one); Eugen Weber, My France: Politics, Culture, Myth, Cambridge MA 1991.

For an excellent comparison of the French and the American Presidency: Roy Pierce, Choosing the Chief: Presidential Elections in France and the United States, Ann Arbor 1995.

On France and the EU: Alain Guyomarch, Howard Machin, and Ella Ritchie, France in the European Union, London 1998.

On "the legacy of Dreyfus and Zola": Jeremy Jennings (ed.), Intellectuals in Twentieth Century France: Mandarins and Samurais, London 1993; Michel Winock, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism, and Fascism in France, Stanford 1998; Peter Fysh and Jim Wolfreys, The Politics of Racism in France, New York 1998; Edward J. Arnold, The Development of the Radical Right in France: From Boulanger to Le Pen, New York 2000;Richard J. Golsan (ed.), Memory, the Holocaust, and French Justice: The Bousquet and Touvier Affairs, Hanover NH, 1996.

Posted 2/12/04: Welfare state in U.S. and France; Agenda 2010

Those who wish to pursue the theme of the welfare state in a comparative perspective may want to look (for France) at the chapter on "In Search of the Etat Providence" by Douglas E. Ashford in the book "Searching for the New France" by James F. Hollifield and George Ross (New York 1991, pp. 151-172) and at an excellent review by Jeff Madrick of several new books on the American welfare state, "Health for Sale" from the NY Review of 12/18/03.

A brief and very well balanced assessment by two German bankers and economists of the "Agenda 2010" can be found here.

Posted 1/31/04: Talk by Madeleine Albright

Charlotte Helander has kindly drawn our attention to the fact that former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, will give a luncheon talk in Santa Clara on February 12 under the auspices of the Commonwealth Club. Details can be found here.

Posted 1/30/04: References, International Herald Tribune, Friedman and Pollack

The references that I cited in my last lecture are listed here.

Some of you were interested in European newspapers in English. I was delighted to find out that the International Herald Tribune of Paris is now available online free of charge, and searchable one week back (plus an archive of "special reports"). In addition, it gives you online access to its English-language supplements from several leading European papers, notably the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (weekly, every Friday), Haaretz, Kathimerini, The Daily Star, and El Pais (all daily); on the front page, click "Regions", and then "Publishing Partnerships".

Tom Friedman has a nice column about the Davos World Economic Forum in yesterday's NY Times, "Elephants Can't Fly"; and Kenneth Pollack, who wrote "The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq", has an excellent piece on "Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong" in The Atlantic Online, with a very well informed and balanced assessment on the European/U.S. disagreements on WMD.

Posted 1/26/04: More voices on "Europe and the U.S."

Following up on our discussion last week, here are another two thoughtful contributions to the topic: a piece by Robert Kagan (he of the "Mars and Venus" metaphor) from Saturday's NY Times on "A Tougher War for the U.S. Is One Of Legitimacy: Can America Afford to Fight Its Enemies Without the Help of Its Friends?", and a contribution by Michael Haltzel, Minority Staff Director, Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, U.S. Senate, on "Europe and the USA: Overcoming Mutual Misperceptions". The NY Times online edition is freely available, but you may have to sign up for accessing it. I will have a few copies of both available on Tuesday for those who can't download.

Posted 1/19/04: Adobe, Pew, and Gopnik

Those of you who have had difficulty downloading some of the .pdf documents from this website should install this newer (and free) version of Adobe Reader.

One of you was kind enough to give me a very interesting article by Adam Gopnik from the "New Yorker" (September 1, 2003) on "The Anti-Anti-Americans: A summer of obsessions in France". I can't reproduce the article for you for copyright reasons, but here is a similarly interesting interview with Gopnik about his years as a correspondent for the New Yorker in Paris.

In tomorrow's class, I will present (and hand out) some opinion survey data gathered by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, one of the better sources of data on public opinion in the US and abroad. You may want to mine this treasure on your own as well.

Posted 1/18/04: Websites on EU and European countries

The following, as per your request, is a list of useful websites on the EU and on the three countries on which we will focus; with one exception, they are all in English (or have a clickable English version); I have used most of them myself, and checked out the others, but let me know if you discover any problems.

For Germany, see also the website of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, posted below.

For those interested in following up on the subject of "degenerate art": The (excellent) catalogue of the original exhibit at the L.A. County Museum of Art is available in Green, Art, Law and Hoover; it contains not only all of the works of art, but a number of very informative essays.

Posted 1/10/04: Grass Nobel Speech and AICGS website

Since I will be talking at some length about Günter Grass on Tuesday, I have posted, in addition to the Coetzee review of Grass's "Crabwalk", the speech that Grass gave in Stockholm in 1999 upon accepting the Nobel prize for Literature - an interesting reflection on the role of the writer in society.

I am also posting for your perusal the website of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington, which contains useful information and commentary on current German affairs (click on "Advisor" for their most recent newsletter).

Posted 1/9/04: Course Reader and Academic Credit

One of you was kind enough to point out to me that the Bookstore had run out of course readers. I have talked to the people there, and they are ordering several more copies. Because of the weekend, they can only have them available by about 5 p.m. on Monday. In the meantime, I am posting the Coetzee article here for you to download if you wish; since we obtained reprint permission for this piece for the reader, we have no copyright problem as long as you use it just for yourself and the course.

I will announce this in class on Tuesday, but some of you have asked about the requirements to obtain academic credit for this class (on a credit/no credit or a letter grade basis). Here you are: I expect a substantial, critical review of each of two of the suggested course readings (contained in the course reader). Each review is to be about 3 or 4 pages long, and will be judged by its critical quality (mere summaries of the content of the piece are not acceptable). The first review is due in class February 10, the second in class on March 2. Email submission is ok. Alternatively, you can choose to write one research paper of between 8 and 10 pages in length on a topic of your choice from among the issues covered in class. This option needs to be discussed with me, however, and I need a one half to one page prospectus of the proposed paper.

Posted 1/7/04: Churchill speech and NPR series

As requested by some of you, the 1946 Churchill speech is available as an audio file here, but be forewarned: The file is rather big (over 20 Mb), so you should only download it if you have a fast broadband connection. You may find it easier to access the text of the speech.

National Public Radio (NPR) ran an interesting series of programs on "America seen through European eyes" last October. You find information about the program and the actual audio files here.

Schedule of topics (posted 1/1/04)

The schedule of topics for the ten class meetings can be found here. It includes suggested readings to accompany and expand on each of the ten topics; these readings are assembled in a course reader which is for sale at the Stanford Bookstore (in the textbook section on the lower level).

Optional reading for January 6 (posted 12/28/03)

For the first session on January 6, you may want to take a look at an interesting recent talk, "From Alliances to Ambivalence: The Search for a Transatlantic Agenda". The text of the talk, by Jackson Janes of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, can be found here.

European politics and European Fiction (posted 1/1/04)

Those who want to complement the course by reading a contemporary European novel that reflects on some of the critical issues of social and political change find here an annotated selection.


I can best be reached by email, at, and will be happy to arrange for office hours by appointment.

Last Updated: March 3, 2004
Copyright 2004, Hans Weiler,