European Foreign and Security Policy in the 21st Century - PO814

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
7 20 (10) MR D Fiott







This course focuses on contemporary security issues facing Europe today and on how the EU and its member states are adapting to its new role in providing security beyond its territory. The creation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the increasing number of civilian and military crisis management operations since 2003 raise important issues over the EU's performance in foreign and security policy; the creation of a European strategy and strategic culture; and changing relations with NATO but also the United States. The institutional changes as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, in particular the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), have further raised expectations as to the EU’s external role. The course will thus examine the institutions of EU foreign and security policy; the future of the transatlantic relationship and of NATO; inter-institutional cooperation between the EU and the UN and other international actors in pursuit of 'effective multilateralism’; regional challenges such as integrating the Balkans and solving the ‘frozen conflicts’ as well as European engagement farther afield such as Afghanistan and sub-Saharan Africa; and European responses towards the rise of emerging powers and their effect on global governance. The aim of the course is to give students a thorough overview of contemporary security issues and how they are addressed by European – and international security- institutions. Lectures will provide a conceptual overview of the most important topics, whereas seminars will discuss specific case studies to illustrate concepts and themes addressed in lectures.


This module appears in:

Method of assessment

Students are required to write one essay of approximately 5000 words on a theme related to the course. The essay will count for 100% of the final grade for the course.

Indicative reading

S. Keukeleire and T. Delreux, The Foreign Policy of the European Union, 2nd Edition Palgrave 2014
[delete all other info on readings]

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will demonstrate:
1. Advanced knowledge of EU institutions and policy making the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy
2. A good understanding of inter-institutional relations between the EU and other key international institutions
3. A good understanding of the major security challenges and the EU's responses (Common security and Defence Policy)
4. Familiarity with relevant theories and concepts and an ability to apply them
5. The ability to critically analyse the role of the EU as foreign policy and security actor
6. The ability to understand the EU’s international role and identity in context

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