Universiteit Leiden

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Teaching is a vital part of CompaRe’s activities. Both in Leiden and abroad, our aim is to educate the minds that will redesign and drive forward the regional integration of tomorrow. We do so by offering multiple courses on comparative regional integration in Leiden, the creation of a MOOC on comparative regional integration, as well as by giving courses and workshops abroad, both to students and other key stakeholders such as judges, practitioners, civil servants and regional bodies. 

Interdisciplinary honours course: Smart regional integration? Comparative lessons for a lean and legitimate EU

Getting regional integration right requires both an understanding of the process of regional integration and the specific regional context and history concerned. In this interdisciplinary honours course, masters students and lecturers together face this interdisciplinary challenge of regional integration. The course offers an overview of traditional comparative integration theory paired with practical insights from the different regional integration projects around the world.

This course is offered from October to February via the honours academy of Leiden University and is open to Leiden honours students from all faculties at the Master's level.

Darinka Piquani

Comparative and Legal Economic Integration

This 5 ECTS Bachelor-level course explores economic integration taking place around the world. Taking a comparative approach, this course focusses on regional economic integration initiatives in Africa, Asia, Latin-America and Europe, comparing and analysing their main features from a predominantly legal standpoint. In doing so, this course analyses a common set of topics, such as institutional framewor; trade in goods & services; and related issues such as quotas and tariffs; and, dispute settlement mechanisms, through the lens of the unique environments of each regional organisation and the extend of their economic integration.

This course is offered from October to December to Bachelor students of the Leiden University College. Participation by external students or researchers can be discussed

Privatissimum (Masters research course) – Critically rethinking the EU through comparative regional integration

The privatissimum is a 10 ECTS intensive research course at the masters level. During the course, students are trained in academic research and writing. Under the supervision of senior research staff, students write research papers and a blog in small groups, each group focussed on one particular topic. In this group, students explore the many experiments around the globe with regional integration: ultimately this provides them with a deeper understanding of integration in the EU and enables them to usefully apply findings from one regional system to another one. Within this broader topic of comparative regional integration, students are free to choose a more specific sub-topic or challenge facing regional integration, for example democracy, legitimacy, division of power between the EU and Member States, rule of law, Brexit, the Euro etc., and then design a comparative research framework that allows them to usefully study it.

This course is offered from October to January, as part of the Master in EU Law of Leiden Law School, open to students of the Masters in EU Law, participation by external students or researchers can be discussed.

Madeleine Hosli

MOOC: Smart integration: how to organise regional cooperation in the post-Brexit era?

Based on our teaching experience, CompaRe aims to launch a MOOC on comparative regional integration in 2022. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will provide an open-access, online and multidisciplinary course on comparative regional integration. it does so via a collection of brief and accessible video-lectures (each max 8 minutes) per sub-topic, combined with online assignments and self-tests. Different videos will be taped by different key staff of CompaRe, complemented by other experts from Leiden university and our partner universities. The first part of the course will introduce the key theories and instruments underlying regional integration from a political science, public administration, historical and legal perspective. The second part will introduce the EU as well as other forms of regional integration in Africa, Asia and Latin-America, and their relative strengths and weaknesses. The third and last part will focus on several of the most topical challenges to regional integration, including democratic legitimacy, migration, social challenges and solidarity and climate change, and will explore how smart regional integration may contribute to meeting these challenges whilst respecting the legal, political and cultural limits of our present reality.

A MOOC is designed to transfer high level expert knowledge in an accessible format for a broad audience. As such, a MOOC is a powerful instrument to disseminate knowledge and findings to a broad audience. Between them, the key staff of CompaRe has been in three highly successful MOOCs. For example the MOOC by Madeleine Hosli, ‘The Changing Global Order’ had over 80,000 participants, whereas the MOOC of the Europa Institute on EU law reached over 60,000 participants, in over a 100 countries. In terms of teaching, the MOOC can also be incorporated in local academic courses on regional integration. In this way, a MOOC also serves as a freely available teaching resource for whichever institution wants to provide a course on comparative regional integration.

External teaching examples

CompaRe staff regularly provides external teaching and training, varying from custom-designed multi-day training courses to individual lectures or contributions to courses taught in other universities. Some examples include:

  • A block of four lectures covering the history, institutional framework and the nature of the EU legal order in a comparative perspective to Africa, Asia and Latin-America for the EU Tax Law – Foundations course, which is a part of the Advanced Master in International Tax Law of the University of Amsterdam.
  • A two-day training course for the Competition Commissioners of the newly established East-African Competition authority. Building on the experiences in the EU, the course covered substantive and procedural issues of competition law as well as the strategic challenges faced when setting up a new regional competition authority.
  • A series of lectures on regional integration and Brexit for the Nagasaki University School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences, a recently established multi-disciplinary research institution. This collaboration follows the increasing focus on the EU in Japan, both triggered and exemplified by the new EU-Japan economic partnership agreement.
  • An online lecture for students and staff of the University of Nairobi on EU law and comparative regional integration. In a spirited online debate, participants discussed potential lessons from EU integration, ranging from institutional design to Brexit and COVID-19, for the East-African context.
  • The inaugural lecture of the Europan Legal Studies centre of the Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta. The lecture was co-organised by the Djokosoetono Research Centre, the Constitutional Law Department and the ASEAN legal studies centre. and focussed on the nature of the EU legal order, which hovers between constitutional law and international law, also in a comparative perspective to ASEAN.


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