The EU in the World

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Karen Smith CLM.4.09


This course is compulsory on the MSc in EU Politics and MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available on the MSc in Global Politics, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option.

All students, except those registered on the MSc in EU Politics are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed. 


Some basic knowledge of International Relations as an academic discipline is desirable, together with some acquaintance with the general evolution of world politics over the last one hundred years. 

Course content

The development of the external activities of the European Communities since 1957, including the development of European Political Cooperation and the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The relationship between the member states and these external activities, in particular the impact of the evolution of EU institutions and policies on national foreign policies. The external relations of the European Community, including external trade and development policy. Relations between the EU and non-EU states and regions. Watch a short introductory video on this course:


10 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 7 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Three 2,000-word essays during the course, to be marked by seminar leaders. These do not count towards the final mark.

Indicative reading

Charlotte Bretherton and John Volger, The European Union as a Global Actor, 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006; Christopher Hill and Michael Smith (eds), International Relations and the European Union, 2nd ed., OUP, 2011; Christopher Hill and Karen E Smith (eds), European Foreign Policy: Key Documents, Routledge, 2000; Stephan Keukeleire and Jennifer MacNaughtan, The Foreign Policy of the European Union, 2nd ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2013; Simon Nuttall, European Foreign Policy, OUP, 2000; Karen E Smith, European Foreign Policy in a Changing World, 3rd ed., Polity Press, 2014; Michael E Smith, Europe’s Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation, CUP, 2004; Reuben Wong and Christopher Hill (eds), National and European Foreign Policies; Towards Europeanization, Routledge, 2011.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 2.1
Merit 49.3
Pass 42.4
Fail 6.2

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2015/16: 63

Average class size 2015/16: 16

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information