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IR270: What Kind of Europe? Crisis, Reform and the International Role of the European Union



Course Content

The European Union constitutes the most daring experiment in peaceful international cooperation in world history. The course will explore the origins, evolution and impact of the European Union in the light of current debates and controversies. It will highlight the tension between 'deepening' and 'widening' and the implications of these processes on the international role of the EU.

Against this background the course examines the diverse political and economic reform pressures the EU and individual EU members currently face. Themes that will be explored in the lectures and classes usually include:

  • the institutional and policy making foundations of the European Union
  • the debate about the EU's democratic legitimacy
  • case studies in key policy areas, such as: economic & monetary union, mobility & free movement, asylum and immigration ('Fortress Europe'), etc.
  • the record and prospects of past and future rounds of enlargement
  • the evolving role of the EU as an international actor.

The twelve daily sessions for the course will usually consist of a lecture that includes discussion, followed by a class which will allow for further small group work. Each year, we try to devote one session to a workshop with a senior figure in the EU policy process.



Nugent, N., Seventh Edition (2010) The Government and Politics of the European Union, Basingstoke: Macmillan (ISBN-10:0230241182).

Wallace, H. Pollack M. and A. Young, Seventh Edition (2014) Policy-making in the European Union, Oxford: OUP (ISBN-10:0199689679).

Hix, S. and B. Hoyland, Third Edition (2011), The Political System of the European Union, Basingstoke: Macmillan (ISBN-10:0230249825)

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice


Session: One

Dates: 19 June - 7 July 2017

Dr Spyros Economides
Dr Ulrich Sedelmeier
Dr Eiko Thielemann

Level: 200 level

Fees: Click here for information

Prerequisites: Some basic knowledge about the European Union and social sciences. The course is of particular interest to students interested in politics and international relations including international political economy, European studies and law.

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One essay and one written examination

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US)
7.5 ECTS points (EU)

How to apply?

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*assessment is optional – see FAQs

**You will need to check with your home institution. Read more about credit transfer here.