IR434      Half Unit
European Defence and Security

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Irene Morlino


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) and MSc in International Relations (Research). 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 online application on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). In previous years we have been able to provide places for most students who apply but that may not continue to be the case.

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 examines defence and security issues in European integration, as well as addressing 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, and the role of defence in the EU's evolution as a civilian, normative and global actor in international relations. The course also examines the relationship between NATO and European security concerns, and more contemporary developments with regard to provisions for crisis management and conflict prevention.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Lent Term.

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 1 essay in the LT.

The essay word limit will be 2,000 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).


Take-home assessment (100%) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2021/22: 28

Average class size 2021/22: 14

Controlled access 2021/22: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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