Course level: Undergraduate

Winter 2014/15
University of Göttingen

The European Union (EU) has become one of the most important actors in world politics. EU influence affects many international processes and outcomes, whether we seek to understand the dynamics of international negotiations on trade or environmental issues, the transformation of Eastern European countries after the end of the Cold War, or regional integration processes in Latin America and Africa. Yet despite its salience, the EU is unlike ‘traditional’ actors in international relations. It is a unique political entity, whose international influence is rooted in harmonizing the position of its 28 member states – a coordination challenge that other international actors do not face. This English-speaking course introduces graduate students to the advanced academic study of the EU in international relations. The course is divided into three parts. In the first part, we review different conceptual perspectives on the EU as an international actor, and the associated academic debates. In the second part, we analyse selected external policies, their policy-making processes and resulting policy activities, including the common foreign and security policy, the common security and defence policy as well as the Community’s trade and development policies. In the third part, we analyse the EU’s actual influence in selected issue areas of international politics, including international trade negotiations and crisis management. The course requires basic knowledge of the European Union’s institutions and policy-making procedures.

Europe in the world_syllabus (484.38 KB)