Europeanists — Past, Current and Future

European integration is at a crossroads, again. The financial and economic crisis and its aftermath mercilessly revealed the weaknesses of European monetary and financial governance, as well as the political cacophony of the European political and economic classes. And yet, Europe continues to attract the attention of academics, policy makers and observers alike; not only due to the present challenges facing the European integration project, but also due to the historical richness of Europe’s culture, politics, and economics. The study of Europe and of European integration has never been more exciting and necessary than it is today.

huebner_euSince its inception in 1998, the Institute for European Studies at the University of British Columbia has offered an academic forum where students and scholars have come together to engage in rigorous inquiry into the structures, actors, policies and institutions that have shaped and continue to contribute to contemporary Europe. Following clear-cut principles of interdisciplinarity and intellectual curiosity, the IES provides theoretically based insights into the processes of making (and sometimes un-making) Europe. The IES came with its own MA Program in European Studies that was in strong demand by students from Canada and abroad; in fact, the program attracted more European Studies students than many of its counterparts in North America. After graduation, IES students were highly sought after by both the private and public sectors as well as by PhD programs across North America and Europe. This program has been suspended. Since then, the IES has turned into a research and outreach unit as part of the Department of Political Science.

In the last few years, it had garnered a reputation as the intellectual and organizational loci for academic endeavours regarding Europe and the European Union in Western Canada. Large international conferences and speaker series have been organized, and scholarly products such as special journal editions and books have been published. The IES is an integral part of the extremely successful EU Study Tour along with its unique internship program. The Institute played a key role in the SSHRC-funded Strategic Knowledge Cluster ‘EU-Canada Transatlantic Dialogue’ as can be seen by our many scholarly contributions and our leadership role in the Thematic Research Group on Economic and Financial Affairs. The IES is the ‘home’ for a group of PhD students whose topics have a European dimension. Our associated faculty crosses many disciplines in Social Sciences and Humanities.

All this makes the IES to a intellectually and academic ‘thick’ institution that provides scholars and the Canadian public at large with rich in-depth analyses of economic, political, social and cultural processes in Europe.

Please browse our website and feel free to contact me.

-Kurt Hübner, IES Director