EU Studies is a field that has emerged to explore post-war processes of European integration, taking the present form of the European Union. The European Union Center at the University of Illinois, as a hub for wider engagement with Europe and Europe’s place in the world, was established thanks to the collaborative efforts of scholars of politics, economics, and culture on campus with significant support from the European Commission and the US Department of Education as a Title VI National Resource Center for the study of (Western) Europe.
EU Studies at Illinois is grounded in questions of institutions, governance, international relations, scientific collaboration, and cultural politics. It is particularly interested in how a better understanding of these topics can contribute to conditions that help diversity and pluralism thrive, while making progress with new visions for economic justice and planetary sustainability. The EU Center has been proud to bring the tradition of European Union Studies (represented most prominently in the US by the organization EUSA) into dialogue with the wider field of European Studies (represented most prominently in the US by the organization Council for European Studies). We have also been a hub for contacts and networking between European institutions, such as universities and the European Union’s Delegation to the US, and potential partners in Illinois and the Midwest. The EU Center has contributed to the development of the field through center leadership by a diverse range of disciplinary perspectives; the Illinois EU Studies Conference; EU Center graduate programs; and special initiatives such as the Larry Neal Prize for Excellence in EU Scholarship.