feature image

European Politics

Students in European Politics can study the European Union, comparative regional integration, Western and Eastern Europe, and more.

European Politics

Our faculty’s teaching and research interests in European Politics are broadly concerned with the extraordinary changes that the region has undergone in the last two decades.   Some faculty members specialize in domestic and international politics as they affect Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe (now part of a fascinating “New” Europe).

Others focus on national politics and public administration in Scandinavia, the relationship between national administrations and the European Union, Italian politics, and comparative regional integration, just to name a few!

European Politics: the Undergraduate Level

Undergraduate course offerings are broad and students can learn a great deal about Russia and Europe, both east and west. Many majors pursue a Certificate in Russian and East European Studies, West European Studies, or European Union Studies. Students also often have the opportunity to participate in Model European Union (EU) and Model North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) simulations, present research papers at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, and accompany faculty on research trips to Europe.

European Politics: the Graduate Level

The University of Pittsburgh’s offerings in European politics are distinctive in that they provide historical depth.  Our department focuses particularly in the area of nationalism – how international organizations such as the EU and NATO are shaping contemporary politics and policy in East and West Europe, how Russian politics is evolving, and how policy and administrative structures are changing as governments examine how they can best control public finances, deliver services, and intervene in the economy.

Although students will specialize in what excites them most, it is expected that they will become familiar with the politics of Europe broadly defined. Departmental resources are significantly augmented by the existence of the Center for Russian and East European Studies within the University Center for International Studies, the European Studies Center, and the European Union Center of Excellence. Additionally, The European Union Studies Association (EUSA) is headquartered at Pitt.

The collections in Hillman Library benefit from two bibliographers – one specializing in European Union Studies and another in Russian and East European Studies. They serve as the depository library for both the EU and the United Nations. The Virtual Library Web sites for both West Europe and Russia and East Europe are also at Pitt, as is the Archive of European Integration. These resources attract students from both West and East Europe to study European politics within the department. Such students in turn create a diverse and challenging intellectual environment in which excellent graduate research flourishes.

The faculty’s research draws on both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and is particularly sensitive to the relationship between international influences (such as the European Union) and national politics and policy. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests, draw on the expertise of faculty in other areas of the department, and to pursue certificates in Russian and East European Studies, West European or European Union Studies. Students are able to draw on research funds for the study of European integration as well as compete for fellowships that allow them to improve their language skills. Finally, they are supported in going to conferences to deliver papers.

Our program is relatively small, allowing faculty and students to work together closely. Our faculty co-author with graduate students and mentor them in a way that encourages professional development.

Students interested in studying European politics in a challenging but warm intellectual environment will find our program to be a good match. The small size of the program, the unusual accessibility of distinguished senior faculty, the resources of three internationally recognized centers, a library distinguished by both its quality and its user-friendliness, and the attractions of Pittsburgh as a city all help students carry out excellent research in the field of European politics.