The European Union in the World - POLI8310

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Oybek Madiyev checkmark-circle


This module focuses on the position of Europe and the EU in particular - what it does and how it does it - in the world, through the perceptions of the other. The first challenge of this broad approach is to tackle the question 'what is Europe?', by way of situating Europe between the regional and global change, and understanding its multifaceted, multi-actor and multi-level environment and associated with it challenges, in the increasingly inter-dependent and inter-polar world. As part of the exercise we will focus more specifically on EU actorness reiterated through the changing modes of governance – from disciplinary and hierarchical, to more adaptable and from a distance – and democracy promotion policies, to understand how it behaves vis-à-vis the outside world. Premised on this, we will examine EU actorness in practical terms by referring to EU interactions with ‘the other’ – from the neighbourhood, BRICS, to US, and Russia. The objective is to cross-compare ‘what the EU is’ and ‘what it does’ to enable wider generalisations of ‘what kind of transformative power the EU is?’ today, in this increasingly globalising world.


Contact hours

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


EU International Relations and Diplomacy MA

Method of assessment

Essay, 4500 words (80%)
Oral presentation (20%)

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Boening, A., Kremer, J-F., and van Loon, A. (eds.) (2013) Global Power Europe, Vol. 1 & 2. (Berlin)

Bretherton C., Vogler, J. (2006), The European Union as Global Actor. London, Routledge

Chakrabarty, D. (2007) Provincialising Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeston University Press)

Whitman, R. (ed.) (2011) Normative Power Europe: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives (Palgrave)

Hill C., Smith M. (eds.) (2011), International Relations and the European Union (OUP), 2nd edition

Lucarelli, S. and Fioramonti, L. (2011) External Perceptions of the EU as a Global Actor (London: Routledge)

Mahbubani, K (2008) The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East (N.Y.: Public Affairs)

Manners, I. (2013) 'Assessing the Decennial, Reassessing the Global: understanding European Union normative power in global politics', in Special Issue 'European Union and Normative Power: Assessing the Decade,' Cooperation and Conflict, 48(2)

Telo, M. (ed.) (2009) EU and Global Governance (Routledge)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 have a good understanding of the complex inter-relationship between Europe, the EU and the rest of the world, with particular reference to the debates surrounding the issues of global and regional change

8.2 have a good understanding of the major developments in EU Foreign Policy at the regional and global levels

8.3 understand the identity of the EU as an international actor, including the controversies and challenges it raises

8.4 critically analyse the role of the EU as a normative and/or civilian actor

8.5 place the role of Europe and the EU in its historical and wider theoretical context

8.6 be familiar with core concepts, theories and debates on global change and European external relations

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1: work with theoretical knowledge at the forefront of their discipline

9.2 be aware of the ethical dimensions of the scholarly work done in their discipline in general as well as of their own work in particular

9.3 have a comprehensive understanding of methods and methodologies in their discipline

9.4 undertake analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory areas of knowledge

9.5 have a level of conceptual understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate research, advanced scholarship and methodologies and argue alternative approaches

9.6 be reflective and self-critical in their research work

9.7 engage in academic and professional communication orally and in writing

9.8 have independent learning ability required for continuing professional study


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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