Module 3: Economics / Culture

Module Overview
Course Title Regional economic integration - the case of the EU Religion and the Challenge of European Identity
Date 22 November - 12 December 21 November - 12 December
Room 0.02, Keplerstr. 2 0.02, Keplerstr. 2
Lecturer Cristina Popescu M.Sc. Lucas Ogden M.A.
Language of Instruction English English
Contact hours 16 (plus study trip and company visit) 24 (incl. study trip to Berlin)
ECTS credits 3 3

Both classes are structured by literature-based discussions and in-class presentations, complemented by group work and group presentation.

Regional economic integration - the case of the European Union

As globalization and free trade agreements open economies and make then interdependent, the
importance of international trade increases. Although the World Trade Organization tries to facilitate
free trade, companies find it difficult to benefit from free trade under the World Trade Organization’s
process due to its time delays. This situation has pushed regional economic integration to the
forefront. After an introduction into the topic of trade, students will learn about regional economic
integration and its effects on doing business, with the European Union as the example of the highest
level of integration. A study trip will be organized and the theoretical concepts will be applied to this
real case. In the second part of the course, the students will have the opportunity to learn more
about the diversity in marketing strategies in Europe. Although marketing principles are the same for
both domestic and foreign markets, the way companies apply them differs from country to country
because they need to adapt to the different expectations of the customers. Factors such as the
pressure to reduce the price or the pressure to adapt to local tastes and preferences play a salient
role in the strategy of a company. With a multitude of cultural differences, from language to religion,
both on a national and regional level, the European Union is one of the most demanding markets to
enter, in spite of its economic potential. The diversity of the European Union determines companies
to make changes in their product offerings, from type of product to advertising. A special focus is
going to be put on product, price, promotion, and place, also known as the marketing mix. A
company visit will be organized and the theoretical concepts will be applied to this real case. The
student group will benefit from its multinational composition by providing different perspectives and
apply the theoretical concepts in interactive exercises such as role plays, group work or case

Religion and the Challenge of European Identity

To what extent does religion contribute to shaping people’s identity and or/divide them in Europe
today? Religion has played an important role in the development of European culture and identity,
as evidenced by impressive church buildings as well as by religious themes in classical European
art and music. The traditional concept of a "Christian" Europe has been both challenged and
enriched by Islam and Judaism as well as by substantial criticism of the established churches.
Today, the considerable drop in religious observance and belief has led many Europeans to
embrace a "post-Christian" identity, while the presence of immigrant communities is making the
continent more multi-cultural. Nevertheless, Christian churches continue to be officially supported by
several European states, and movements encouraging a re-revitalization of religion have gained
attention. In this course, we will address key questions and problems concerning religion in Europe,
and will also engage in critical analyses of art and music.