ASTK18175U Soft Law in EU and China
Bachelor student: 10 ECTS
Master student: 7.5 ECTS
In recent years, soft law, or “rules of conduct which, in principle, have no legally binding force but which nevertheless may have practical effects and also legal effects” (Stefan 2017), has been increasingly important in both the European Union (EU) and China. For instance, recommendations are used very often by the European Commission, while opinions are employed a lot by the central government in China. Both are good examples of soft law tools in comparison to hard law tools such as regulations and directives.
The compliance of soft law, however, poses a challenge. For instance, in EU, the implementation record of recommendations is relatively poor, while in China, policy implementation is often a tug of war, including many soft law tools. Paths to compliance, nevertheless, remain hotly debated. On the one hand from the IR theorists, the enforcement school competes with the management school. On the other hand in regulatory studies, the strategy of sanctioning and compliance are also generating ambiguous results. Still, these debates will shed light on the compliance of soft law in EU and China, which has so far been under-researched.
In general, this course will address the following questions: what is soft law? What is its role in the European integration and the Chinese governance? Why is it becoming increasingly important in the governance of EU and China? What is the challenge of soft law compliance and why is there a challenge? What are the compliance strategies? How does each strategy work to improve soft law compliance? Are these strategies effective? Basically, this course aims to provide a fresh look into EU-Member States relations and the Chinese central-local relations from a soft law perspective.
Knowledge: Students will get to know the broader development of soft law governance in EU and China, the compliance theories of enforcement vs management in the IR debate, and the debate of deterrence vs compliance in the regulatory studies. More broadly, students will have a better understanding of EU-Member States relations and the central-local relations in China.
In EU, the European Semester will be a key case study, which has been at the heart of the EU economic and social policy coordination since 2011. In China, students will get to know the case of the Five-Year Plans, the anti-corruption campaign, as well as other social and economic reforms by way of soft law.
Skills: Students will be able to identify: 1) whether or not a policy tool is soft law; 2) the main compliance strategies of soft law; 3) how to study the compliance strategies of soft law (methods like process-tracing, CLMM model will be introduced).
Kompetences: Students will be able to apply the theories of compliance strategies from IR and regulatory studies to many other cases of soft law in EU and China, as well as other international regimes. Students will also be able to apply process-tracing to study many other causal mechanisms.
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- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Oral examinationOral exam with a synopsis
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
- For the semester in which the course takes place: Oral exam with a synopsis
- For the following semesters: Free written assignment
Criteria for exam assesment
- Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
- Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
- Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner
- Class Instruction