Not available in 2020/21
IR434      Half Unit
European Defence and Security

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Spyridon Economides COW 2.07


This course is available on the 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 International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research) and MSc in International Relations Theory. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All students 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 LSE4You. Admission is not guaranteed.

Course content

This course examines the role of defence and security issues in European integration. It traces the evolution and nature of decision-making with respect to European defence initiatives, and examines the structures and institutions of EU defence and security. It also seeks to understand the relationship between foreign policy and security/defence policy in the EU especially in the context of transatlantic relations, and NATO, and the EU's wider international role. The course is divided into two parts. Part one provides a theoretical overview of the role of defence and security issues in European integration. It addresses the question of defence and European identity, the relationship between European defence and the national objectives of Member-States, the link between collective defence and collective security as well as the role of defence in the EU's evolution as a civilian, normative and global actor in international relations. It also looks at the historical evolution of the plans, structures and institutions of European defence and security. It places this evolution in the context of the early post-Second World War era, the Cold War and German rearmament and the issues of extended deterrence, burden-sharing within NATO and the emergence of a European pillar to Western defence. Part two examines the more contemporary developments in European defence and security and concentrates on the relationship with European Political Cooperation/Common Foreign and Security Policy, moves to institutionalise defence and provisions for crisis management and conflict prevention. Included in the second part are examinations of the EU's ‘comprehensive approach’, and recent CSDP missions and the implications of this on the EU's role in the world.


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

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

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the MT.

Students are expected to submit one 2,000-word essay and one Group Policy Analysis paper 2,500 words. 

Indicative reading

Anne Deighton (Ed), Western European Union: Defence Security Integration; Andrew Cottey, Security in the New Europe; Jolyon Howorth, Security and Defence Policy in the European Union; Simon Duke, The Elusive Quest for European Security; From EDC to CFSP; Paul Gebhard, The United States and European Security; Heather Grabbe, The Sharp Edges of Europe; Francois Heisbourg et al, European Defence: Making it Work; Sean Kay, Nato and the Future of European Security; G Rees Wyn, The Western European Union at the Crossroads; Stanley Sloan, The United States and European Defence; Panos Tsakaloyannis, The European Union as a Security Community (1996).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 10.3
Merit 72.2
Pass 16.5
Fail 1

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 Relations

Total students 2019/20: 23

Average class size 2019/20: 11

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information