Political Change: The European Union as a Global Actor

Module code: M1541
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

The emergence, over the last five and a half decades, of the European Union as a global actor of real relevance forms the basis for this module. It will chart and critically analyse this process of change from a community of six member states consumed with internal economic priorities to a union of 27 member states (and growing) whose decisions frequently have a global reach and whose troops  have undertaken missions in south-east Europe, Central Africa and the Far East. What have been the key actors and factors behind this transformation? And where is this process of political change headed? The tutor will encourage and assist you in tackling these and other related questions in a critical manner. The module will cover the following distinct but related topics: foreign policy integration at EU level and its limits; the impact of new member states; the militarization of the Union; the EU and crisis management; the EU and conflict prevention; the impact of the USA and Russia on this process of change; and the soft power/hard power debate.

Module learning outcomes

  • Engage critically and selectively with the relevant library-based and on-line sources in this field of study.
  • Demonstrate a strong awareness of the factors and issues surrounding the emergence of the EU as a global actor.
  • Identify the peculiarities of the EU as an international actor when compared to states or International Organisations.
  • Further develop the ability to undertake close textual reading and critical analysis.