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Semester 1: Radboud University Nijmegen (NL)

The aim of semester 1 is to provide students with a solid understanding of the processes of European integration and of policy- and decision-making in the European Union (EU) in relation to the fields of environmental and regional policy and other spatially-relevant policies and initiatives. Students will, besides gaining substantive knowledge about the European dimension of spatial planning, study relevant theoretical perspectives, including Europeanisation and new institutionalist approaches, which allow a better understanding of the role of the EU in spatially-relevant policy areas. During semester 1, students will further study different planning cultures, approaches to territorial cooperation and discuss suitable methodological approaches for undertaking cross-national comparative research in the fields of spatial planning, environmental policy and regional economic development.

The semester in Nijmegen is organised in two teaching blocks that are each followed by a reading week and an examination week. In order to facilitate the transfer to Karlskrona and Cardiff in semester 2, examinations of Block 2 modules will be held in the official ‘reading week’ of Radboud University.

All students following the PLANET Europe programme are required to successfully complete five mandatory modules of 6 ECs each in semester 1, i.e. a total of 30 ECs, as follows:

Institutional Perspectives on Societal Change and Spatial Dynamics (6 ECs)

Which roles do major institutional domains - state, market and civil society - play in addressing today's spatial and environmental issues? What forms of spatial governance emerge from the interactions between these domains? What is the meaning of the 'public interest' in shaping new forms of governance? And what role is played by other guiding principles: economic competitiveness, public participation, sustainability? How do changes in governance reflect tendencies towards modernization, globalization and individualization? What is the impact of new forms of governance on planning procedures and policy making? These questions will be addressed by focusing on a variety of spatial and environmental issues, including persistent problems such as environmental degradation, over-fishing, urban sprawl, housing deficit and traffic congestion.

European Spatial Planning and the EU Territorial Cooperation Agenda (6 ECs)

The European Union (EU) does not have a formal competence for spatial planning, but it nevertheless has an important role in influencing spatial planning approaches in EU member states and regions. The focus of this module is on the cooperation of member states and regions at the EU and transnational levels in the field of spatial development and territorial cohesion. This includes a discussion of how EU (spatial) policy is made and by whom, how spatial planning actors can engage in these policy-making processes and how they can cooperate with actors in other countries to address large-scale spatial development challenges. Suitable theoretical concepts, such as Europeanisation, are introduced to explain how spatial planning policy is developed, and to understand influences on spatial planning in the EU's system of multi-level governance. A field trip to Brussels (at the beginning of Block 2) is part of the module.

International Environmental Politics (6 ECs)

Environmental politics has been internationalised since the 1960s. On the one hand, some environmental problems were transboundary in nature right from the start, such as acid rain and pollution of rivers crossing national borders. Managing these problems proved possible only through international co-operation. On the other hand, processes of internationalisation – such as globalisation and Europeanization – forced countries to formulate environmental policies at the international stage, not only to regulate environmental problems as such, but also to harmonise measures for the sake of market integration. As these internationalisation processes have profoundly intensified over the last couple of decades, the quality and quantity of international environmental politics have strongly increased. Nowadays, environmental politics cannot be properly studied without taking into account its international component. Throughout the module, ample reference will be made to empirical cases and examples. An excursion to Brussels is part of the module (jointly with module European Spatial Planning and the EU Territorial Cooperation Agenda).

Elective Course (6 ECs)

Student can elect at least one (or more) of the following elective courses:

- Water and Climate Proof Cities and regions

- Globalising Cities and Hinterlands

- Geopolitics of Borders

- Multiculturalism, Diversity and Space

- International Migration, Globalization and Development

- An equivalent course at Radboud University or elsewhere, subject to approval by the Exam Board

The EU and Domestic Impact: Economy, Space and Environment (6 ECs)

The spatial and environmental impacts of European Union policy are clearly visible across EU Member States. Although there is no direct authority or policy domain specifically governing “European spatial planning” the EU increasingly leaves its marks on the making and governing of spaces and physical environments, through policy fields such as nature conservation, air quality, sustainable energy, water management, transport, agriculture as well as cohesion policies and economics. Moreover, there is transboundary cooperation between countries; member states are cooperatively exchanging information and ‘learning’ in EU facilitated transnational arenas and there are ongoing processes of Europeanization, harmonization and identity-forming. In other words, EU governance takes many forms. In light of these processes of EU influence, this course will explore and discuss the way (new) EU governance structures impact upon economical, spatial and environmental developments at regional and national levels in EU-Member States.  It will deal with a selection of theories on the EU and its impact on (national) environmental policies and spatial planning and regional economies. The assignments revolve around the application of theories of impact within specific national or regional cases. The general aim of the module is to provide students with a better understanding of the forms and varieties of EU governance, its significance and range, while reflecting on the actual impact of the EU in regional cases.