Europe in Crisis - PO959

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2020 to 2021.


The module aims to address topical events in European societies and in the process of European integration, taking crises as a potential engine for change. Students are asked to engage in this process of change through scholarly investigation that uses textual sources from multiple critical perspectives. The module is intended to be both theoretically sophisticated and accessible to students, thus providing invaluable knowledge for understanding and analysing the contemporary policy practices of the European Union. This hands-on approach should prove both stimulating and pedagogically useful as students explore how policies create crises, how crises are constructed and how crises may inform new approaches to governance.

The module assesses European policy themes in the light of the different interpretative and heuristic tools provided by the theories drawn from European Studies and International Relations. There is a core emphasis on locating the emergence of crises, their politicisation, and on identifying processes of change or transforming crises. The critical nature of the module allows for the exploration of competing theoretical perspectives and interpretations of contemporary crises in the European context and their political implications for the future of the European Union and European societies.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200

Method of assessment

Essay, 3500 words (60%)
Group Policy Paper, 3500 words (40%)

Indicative reading

Dinan, Desmond/Nugent, Neal and William E. Paterson (eds.) (2017), The European Union in Crisis, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cini, M. and Pérez-Solórzano Borragán, N. (eds) (2019), European Union Politics. 6th Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chaban, N. and Holland, M. (2014), Communicating Europe in Times of Crisis: External Perceptions of the European Union, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Giddens, A. (2013), A Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe, Cambridge: Polity.
Guiraudon, V., Ruzza, C. and Trenz. H. J. (2015), Europe's Prolonged Crisis: The Making or the Unmaking of a Political Union, London: Palgrave Macmillan
Outhwaite, W. (2017), Brexit: Sociological Responses, London/New York: Anthem Press.
Triandafyllidou, A. and R. Gropas. (2015). What is Europe?, London: Palgrave Macmillan

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will have:
A capacity to appraise European policy making from different theoretical perspectives.
An in depth knowledge of key policy areas and institutions within the EU polity.
A deep and systematic understanding of the political, economic and social features of Europe in the contemporary world order
The capacity to critically assess the differing interpretations of crises in the European context
The ability to design and undertake substantial investigation to address European policy-making


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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