European Integration in the Twentieth Century

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof David Stevenson SAR 3.11 and Prof Nicholas Ludlow SAR 2.16


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International and Asian History, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


A prior knowledge of 20th century European history will be an advantage. Students unfamiliar with the subject should do some preliminary reading. A reading knowledge of French and/or German will be useful but in no sense essential.

Course content

The antecedents and development of Western European integration from the First World War to the 1990s. European integration before 1914; German and Allied projects during the First World War; inter-war developments and the Briand Plan; the Nazi New 'Order'; Resistance and Allied planning during the Second World War; the impact of the Marshall Plan; Federalism and Christian Democracy; the Schuman Plan and the Coal and Steel Community; the European Defence Community project; the Treaties of Rome; the Common Agricultural Policy; the integration policies of the Six and Britain; de Gaulle and the Communities; enlargement; monetary integration; developments in the 1970s and 1980s; Treaty of Maastricht.


Students will engage with lecture and seminar content in large and small group meetings. There will be a reading week in the Michaelmas and the Lent Terms.

Formative coursework

Three essays will be required in the course of the year. The essay in the LT will be an assessed piece of work counting towards the final assessment. 

Indicative reading

Full bibliographies are provided. As introductory reading, students should consult: P M Stirk, A History of European Integration since 1914 (London, 1996); D. Dinan, ed, Origins and Evolution of the  European Union (Oxford, 2006);M. Gilbert, European Integration: a Concise History (Lanham, Md, 2012); J Gillingham, Coal, Steel, and the Rebirth of Europe, 1945-55 (Cambridge, 1991); A S Milward, The Reconstruction of Western Europe,1945-51 (London, 1984); A S Milward, The European Rescue of the Nation State (London, 1992); N P Ludlow, Dealing with Britain: the Six and the First UK Application to the EEC (Cambridge, 1997); W I Hitchcock, France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954 (Chapel Hill, 1998); A Moravcsik, The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht (Cornell, 1998); N P Ludlow, The European Community and the Crises of the 1960s (London, 2006); W. Kaiser, Christian Democracy and the Origins of the European Union (London, 2008); W. Kaiser, B. Leucht and M. Rasmussen, . The History of the European Union: Origins of a Trans- and Supranational Polity 1950-72 (London, 2009); A C Knudsen, Farmers on Welfare: The Making of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy (Cornell, 2009).


Essay (25%) in the LT.
Take-home assessment (75%) in the ST.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2019/20: 17

Average class size 2019/20: 17

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information