Area of freedom, security and justice

leusl2111  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Area of freedom, security and justice
5 credits
30.0 h
Main themes
The overall theme of the course is the progressive construction of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice(AFSJ) of the European Union (EU). The course is organized around four major sub-themes: historical perspectives, theoretical approaches, actors, and policies.
Historical perspectives on the AFSJ: overview of both the legal and political milestones and of the power dynamics at play in the construction of the AFSJ.
Theoretical approaches to the study of the AFSJ: recap of classical theories of EU studies (neo-functionalism, inter-governmentalism, (post)integration theory, governance, Europeanization, neo-institutionalism), introduction to 'alternative' theoretical approaches (e.g. sociology of the EU, international political sociology, pragmatism, post-structuralism); and discussion of their theoretical use for the study of the AFSJ.
The main actors of the AFSJ: recap of the main EU institutions (e.g. European Commission, European Parliament, Court of Justice, European Council and Council of the European Union) with a focus on their specific roles and competences related to the AFSJ. Presentation of AFSJ-related institutional actors: EUROPOL, EUROJUST, the European Data Protection Supervisor, CEPOL, FRONTEX, etc.; and brief overview of non-institutional actors (e.g. private actors, interest groups, NGOs') and of key international players.
The main policies of the AFSJ: introduction to the key AFSJ policy fields: asylum, immigration, management of external borders, judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, police cooperation, personal data protection. Focus on the diverse policy and regulatory tools at play in the AFSJ and their uses and limitation in defining and enforcing policy agenda. Finally, discussion of the external dimension of the AFSJ policies, and the role of non-European actors in influencing or challenging its policies.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The course has three main objectives:
First, students will acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the main policies and actors at the core of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). This will permit them to better understand on-going developments and stakes in a policy field that has come to the forefront of political and societal debates.
Second, students will be able to put to use both classical and non-mainstream theoretical approaches to EU studies. They will be able to test the added-value of diverse theories to better understand the behaviour of, and the relations among, concerned actors.
Third, students will learn how to read recent and on-going controversies concerning sensitive topics of European, national and global governance. They will know how to identify the 'hot' issues concerning the AFSJ and how to gather related informational material.
Evaluation methods
Written or oral examination.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in European Studies