Date of Defense



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Second Advisor

Dr. Tim Light

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim Butterfield


The states of Europe and the European Union are facing one of the greatest challenges since the founding of the European Community in the 1950s. The collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War have served to strengthen the position of the European Union as a guarantor of democracy, peace, and fundamental human rights in Europe. However, crises such as the Balkan conflicts of recent years have also exposed inherent weaknesses in the Union's ability to respond to the changing international environment. As the Amsterdam Treaty entered into effect on 1 May 1999, the EU marked a significant first step towards remedying its historical shortcomings and institutional weaknesses. Yet the Union's failure to respond to its most recent international challenge, the crisis in Kosovo, revealed the fact that much work remains to be done. The challenges facing the EU are numerous, and more momentous than any in the past. With virtually every state on the continent of Europe seeking to become a member of the EU, membership is widely viewed throughout Central and Eastern Europe as a panacea to the transitional problems confronting the post-Communist states. Events on the European continent, proceeding at an astonishing rate, threaten to overtake the arduous pace of reform in the European Union.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access