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As part of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) activities at UNC-CH, the Center for European Studies and the TransAtlantic Masters Program have launched three courses with transatlantic components. The courses feature guest lectures from experts across the US and Europe, and joint projects between students at UNC and European partner universities. This initiative enriches course content on both sides of the Atlantic, and leverages digital solutions for expanding transatlantic pedagogical collaboration.

POLI 733:
European Institutions and Integration


Introduction to European Government


Applied experimental research:
Politics in the US and in Europe

Image of the Capitol building fading into an image of the European Commission.

POLI 733: European Institutions and Integration

In an effort to enrich course content on both sides of the Atlantic, we brought a UNC TAM course together with a class taught at the University of Hannover in Germany. We merged the UNC-based TransAtlantic Masters fall 2020 course, POLI 733: European Institutions and Integration with an MA-level course focused on US Elections and Transatlantic Relations at Hannover, also taught in English. This collaboration promotes transatlantic dialogue and understanding across student cohorts. Our initiative is especially timely given the fact that the US Presidential election took place during the course. Within the context of the shared Zoom classroom, students had the opportunity to exchange their own views on current issues and to narrate first-hand accounts. This comparative framework led students to more fully understand different perspectives on unfolding events in the US and in Europe.
Decorative image of the European Central Bank.

Schedule & Instructor

The calendars at the respective universities do not align perfectly; however, the classes shared the same professor, Dr. Christiane Lemke, who has taught in the TAM Program for many years. Prof. Lemke began her fall TAM class at UNC with a focus on the history and policies of the EU. She also focus on the EU’s external relations. Once classes began in Hannover on Oct 19th, the courses merged for one month and involved joint weekly sessions over Zoom focused on the transatlantic relationships, the US presidential election, and public opinion. Once the semester ended at UNC right before Thanksgiving, TAM students had the option to continue to participate in the Hannover class for the month of December. In order to facilitate student interaction and to allow them to get to know one another, we organized ice breakers and activities to take place before the courses merged. UNC TAM alum Erinn Crider served as Research Assistant for this course.

Guest Speakers

These shared class sessions included four sessions with TAM graduates uniquely positioned to comment on transatlantic relations today. The expertise of our TAM graduates in Berlin and DC was harnessed to enable greater insight into transatlantic affairs and provide diverse perspectives. These proposed alumni guest speakers included:

  • Emily Lines (Berlin)
    • Democrats Abroad Volunteer and Research Scientist for Population Europe, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
  • Jacob Schrot (Berlin)
    • Special Assistant to the Chancellor’s Foreign Policy Advisor
  • Brandon Bohrn (DC)
    • Bertelsmann Foundation

These individuals provided professional and personal insight into today’s transatlantic relations. In addition, their work in the private, public, non-profit and academic sectors highlighted various future career paths open to the students. They talked for an hour at the start of the class session and allowed for Q&A.


Across four weeks, students from UNC Chapel Hill and Leibniz University Hannover met virtually to discuss the current trends and challenges facing the US, Europe and their transatlantic partnership. From this collaboration the students drafted joint research papers and presentations that not only described five of the issues central to the future of United States and Europe, but provided actionable policy suggestions. From these presentation we have created a list of resources that can provide a fulsome introduction to both the American and European perspectives on five critical issues. Follow the links below to access these resource lists.

Syllabi & Learning Outcomes

Prof Lemke conjoined her two course syllabi for the sessions in which she taught both the UNC and Hannover cohorts together. Joint learning outcomes for the course include: to experience and participate in the transatlantic dialogue, to experience the value of intercultural communication, and understanding the depth of transatlantic relations. Follow the links below to learn more about student experiences in the course.

EURO/POLI 239: Introduction to European Government

To provide students with different perspectives on European politics by experts in the field, we invited several guest lecturers to join EURO/POLI 239 “Introduction to European Government” over Zoom. The speakers gave a short lecture on their field of expertise with an emphasis on their specific research contribution, before we opened up the floor to a discussion between students and the guest lecturers. To ensure that students could make the most out of interacting with an international expert, we prepared the topics of the guest lectures in the class session preceding the guest lecture. Students also developed possible avenues for questioning in small breakout groups. The guest lectures correlated with the topics covered in the course that particular week. This class was taught in Fall 2020 by Dr. Dominic Nyhuis, Visiting DAAD Professor at UNC.
Decorative image of the European Commission.

Guest Speakers

These guest speakers allowed students to gain a different perspective on and a deeper understanding of the course topics by interacting with experts in Germany as well as in the US. Each speaker presented research on a pressing topic relevant to Europe and the EU.

  • Dr. Philipp Köker (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany)
    • Topics: Eastern European politics
  • Dr. Martin Gross (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany)
    • Topics: European party politics and party systems
  • Dr. Marcel Lewandowsky (University of Florida)
    • European right-wing populism

EURO/POLI 285: Applied experimental research: Politics in the US and in Europe

We are developing and conducting an internationally collaborative student-led research project in EURO285/POLI 285 “Applied experimental research: Politics in the US and in Europe”. UNC students will work with students at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany under the supervision of Dr. Dominic Nyhuis and Dr. Michael Jankowski, who is running a similar class on experimental research methods in political science also during the spring of 2021, also taught in English. Students will meet over Zoom when the academic calendars overlap in April to design an online survey experiment about a current issue in public opinion. After the design stage, the project will be implemented by the teams at UNC and at the University of Oldenburg in order to generate comparable research data. The syllabi for this course will be coordinated with Dr Jankowski’s and students in both courses will receive credit for these joint projects. Ideally, the project will result in a publishable research paper comparing public opinion in Europe and in the US.
Decorative image of the US Capitol building fading into the European Parliament building.
To ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to develop, conduct, and analyze a survey experiment, we are making the different institutional calendars work to our advantage. As students at UNC start into the spring semester earlier than German students, we are making use of the additional time to discuss the basics of good experimental research design and data analysis. Students can use this knowledge to develop their research design at the collaborative project stage. To avoid major knowledge gaps between the two groups, the German group will consist of students that have already finished their undergraduate studies.
In order to facilitate a positive learning experience and to allow students to get to know one another, we will organize ice breakers and joint activities via zoom both during class and outside of the classroom.
This class is being taught in Spring 2021 by Dr. Dominic Nyhuis, DAAD Visiting Professor at UNC.

Instructor Bios

Christiane Lemke

Christiane Lemke is Professor of Political Science and Director of International Relations and European Studies at the Institute of Political Science at Leibniz University Hannover. Professor Lemke has been very involved in Center for European Studies teaching, research, and conferences for many years. She has been teaching in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Transatlantic Masters (TAM) program for over a decade and has been a recurring DAAD Visiting Scholar to UNC since 1988. In addition to her current position, Christiane Lemke, from 2010-14, held the Max Weber Chair at New York University. Professor Lemke received her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Free University in Berlin and went on to earn her Habilitation Venia legendi in Political Science from the same institution. Professor Lemke has been a visiting scholar at a number of US institutions over the years as she has maintained her permanent faculty positions in Germany. She has taught courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford University, Harvard University, and Suffolk University. In addition, while on a leave from the University of Hannover from 2006 to 2007, Professor Lemke served as the Director of State Parliament, Lower Saxony. Professor Lemke’s academic areas of expertise include: European Politics, Democracy and Governance in the EU, Transatlantic Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory, and American Politics. She is the author/editor of numerous books and articles, including: Internationale Beziehungen: Grundkonzepte, Theorien und Problemfelder, 4th ed. (International Relations: Concepts, Theories, and Key Issues, 2018); Germany Today. Politics and Policies in a Changing World, 2018; Europäische Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (European Foreign and Security Policy, 2010), Menschenrechte und Migration (Human Rights and Migration, 2009).

Headshot of Professor Doctor Christiane Lemke.

Dominic Nyhuis

Dominic Nyhuis is Visiting DAAD Professor of Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. Professor Nyhuis received his PhD from the University of Mannheim for a project on the link between district preferences and candidate communication in German elections. His research on European and German politics focuses on party politics, legislatures, and subnational politics. With a background in quantitative methods, he is particularly interested in how the digital transformation changes research practices in the social sciences. To this end, he has worked on the automated collection of large-scale web data, as well as tools for the analysis of text and video data. Professor Nyhuis currently teaches undergraduate European Studies and Political Science majors as well as students in the TransAtlantic Masters Program.

Headshot of Dominic Nyhuis.