Two Brigham Young University students, Ryan Merriman and Spencer Pearce, wrote papers that were recently published in the proceedings of the Claremont–UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union.
Ryan Merriman, a political science senior from South Jordan, Utah, authored “Fiscal Shackles or Unrestrained Rhetoric: Does E.U. Integration Constrain Social Welfare Spending?” Merriman challenges conventional claims that European integration forces E.U. member states to trim their state welfare budgets.
“It was satisfying to see an idea develop from conjectures scribbled in a notebook to a publication in a scholarly journal,” he said. “It was also an incredible learning experience. Completing all the coursework required by BYU may have resulted in a degree, but this paper forced me to apply the skills I learned in those courses to a salient issue in European politics.”
Tackling the issue of Turkish membership in the E.U., Spencer Pearce, a double major in international relations and Russian from Show Low, Ariz., wrote “Entrapment, Economics and Geopolitics: The Obstacles and Conditions for Turkish E.U. Membership.” Pearce argues that geopolitical reasons offer the best explanation for Turkey’s candidacy and possible acceptance into the E.U.
Merriman’s and Pearce’s papers were two of only eight published out of the 46 presented, attesting to the quality of scholarship demonstrated by the students.
The proceedings were published in October and are the result of the Eighth annual conference hosted by the European Union Center of California at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., in April. Twenty-three universities from the U.S. and Germany met to share research and their interest in contemporary European politics and society.
The student conference was modeled after professional academic conferences. Each student presented his or her own research to a panel moderated by a faculty discussant whose primary task included providing constructive feedback and stimulating discussion of the issues at hand.
For more information regarding European studies, please contact the Center for the Study of Europe, 216 Herald R. Clark Building, at (801) 422-6277, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the conference in which the papers were highlighted, visit eucenter.scrippscollege.edu/events/conference.php.
Writer: Chris Lamoureaux