Promoting the teaching, study and understanding of the European Union: the mission of the Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Montreal (Department of Political Science)is to increase knowledge on European issues. Considering that the European Union is often perceived as being distant and highly complex, this pedagogical project intends to bring it closer to students, researchers as well as the general public.
The Chair pursues these objectives in three ways:
- It ensures the European studies’ place in teaching and research at the University of Montreal;
- It encourages students to generate knowledge on the EU;
- It spreads this knowledge beyond the academic community.
In practical terms, this means to complement the work already done by others bodies, such as the Jean Monnet Centre Montréal. The Jean Monnet Chair completes the provision of European studies’ teaching by offering three courses which target different audiences. The public lectures it organizes should also be viewed in this context. These events allow participants to continue the debates in class. Likewise, they serve to strengthen the courses’ interdisciplinary dimension and stimulate exchanges between students and established researchers in the field of European studies.
One key aspect of the Chair’s work and its pedagogical approach is engaging students in research on the EU. First, their research skills shall be further developed. Second, the idea is to produce new knowledge within the field of European studies. The outcome is a series of quality tools on the European Union: the infographics, research posters and video clips are made accessible to all through EuroScope’s Toolbox.
In summary, the Chair is meant to be a learning space, a forum for exchange and a place providing valuable information on the EU and European issues to all kind of audiences: students, journalists, the civil society as well as citizens.
The Chair adopts an active learning approach. In other words, students learn best when encouraged to pass on the knowledge they have acquired. That is why all offered classes are interactive in nature. They lead students to conduct their own research on specific questions and aspire to obtain concrete results which will later be made available to the general public. The outcomes may contain infographics, research posters or video clips. Regardless of the form, the students’ work is being recognized and valued, and can be used by fellow students, researchers and the general public.
Special attention is given to the relationship between theoretical debates, empirical work and current political developments. Public conferences with high level speakers allow the Chair to strengthen the link between the courses and the current state of research on the European Union.
The proposed teachings have a strong international and comparative dimension. This approach allows the students to transcend national specificities, to build bridges between different countries and to integrate several perspectives on the European Union. Thanks to the Franco-Canadian research seminar, they also develop relationships with their fellows from the other side of the Atlantic.
The Jean Monnet Chair offers three types of courses allowing different audiences to familiarize themselves with the EU and research on European integration.
The course POL3851 Intégration européenne is available to second or third year Bachelor students. It focuses on the evolution and the functioning of the EU and allows students to familiarize themselves with this political system and major issues in European studies. Its participatory character contributes to developing students’ analytical capabilities and to strengthening their written and oral argument (through group discussions). They also get to learn how to disseminate their knowledge. On the basis of their work, students are led to produce infographics which will be published in the Toolbox. The course is taught by the Chair’s holder Laurie Beaudonnet.
The course POL6112 Politique de l’intégration européenne allows graduate students to obtain in-depth knowledge of the EU and the debates shaping the field of European integration studies. It also provides an opportunity to get involved in comparative and collaborative research. Thanks to the cooperation with Sciences Po Grenoble, the students conduct their work together with their European colleagues. Additionally, a graduate student conference is organized alternately either in Europe or in Montreal. This event represents not only a tangible opportunity to make a first experience in presenting an academic paper, but also contributes to developing the students’ capacities in knowledge dissemination. The results (research posters) will be made accessible to the general public through the Toolbox.
A summer school will be proposed in partnership with CERIUM during summer term 2017. Conceived as an intensive one-week program, this course is concerned with minority issues in different democratic systems (Canada and in the EU). External contributions from different researchers, policymakers and invited practitioners will give the course a both interdisciplinary and comparative outlook. The work results will be presented as written reports and video clips and disseminated on this homepage. The Chair’s summer school is designed for both graduate students and professionals.
As others of its kind, the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Montreal is financed by the European Commission in the framework of its program Erasmus +. Jean Monnet Chairs are granted to professors for a period of three years and intended to deepen teaching in European studies. They sought to facilitate research in this field, contribute to training future professionals in this area and/or to support young students and researchers working on the European Union.
As the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Montreal adopts a collaborative approach, it maintains several partnerships.
The research seminar POL 6112 (Franco-Canadian lecture) which is offered to political science students of the University of Montreal is the result of a partnership with the Jean Monnet Chair of Sciences-Po Grenoble and the Master in European Governance. As part of this partnership, graduate students (both Master and PhD) of the University of Montreal have the opportunity to work and exchange with their counterparts following a corresponding program at the partner institution in France. They present their common research projects at the annual graduate student conference.
The Jean Monnet Chair is collaborating with the Jean Monnet Centre Montréal and the Montreal Centre for International Studies (CÉRIUM) in order to promote research and teaching of European studies and to enrich the public debate on the European Union in Canada.