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Europe and the World (PO962)

The EU as an International Actor Engaging with the Neighbourhood

Current international events have intensified focus on the European Union’s foreign and security policies. The EU, in response to challenges within its own borders, in its wider region and beyond, published its Global Strategy for European Foreign and Security Policy in 2016. The British referendum result and Brexit has also challenged the EU’s identity as a strategic actor in international affairs.

This module explores the evolution of the EU as a foreign policy and security actor and the debates about its evolving identity. It does so through first, assessing the utility of conceptual and theoretical schools of thought in explaining and helping us to understand how integration has evolved in security and defence, and second, in critically engaging in the debates relating to the EU’s identity as a global power in the 21st century. The module applies the theoretical debates to practical examples of the EU’s capabilities in relation to what has been labelled by many the EU’s ‘most successful foreign policy tool’ in enlargement, the EU’s neighbourhood policy, and the EU’s fitful relationship with Russia.

The EU in International Affairs: Concepts and Themes

The EU faces an increasingly complex array of international challenges in the 21st century. This module will explore the ability of the EU to address such challenges, and assess the nature and implications of EU policies in a number of strategically important areas of the world.

It will inter alia analyse the difficulties that the EU has faced in developing a truly common foreign and security policy and in establishing itself as an effective international actor; examine the conceptual debates relating to whether the EU has moved from being a civilian and normative power towards assuming a more military power identity; assess the implications of the Lisbon treaty provisions and in particular the European External Action Service (EEAS) which sits at the core of the EU’s diplomatic identity.

A grounding in the debates on the EU’s evolution as a security and defence actor will provide the conceptual and theoretical platform for examining the EU’s actions, power and actorness across a plethora of salient international issues, including human rights, development, trade, and relations with strategic partners, including the United States.

Please note: for students on the MA in International Politics and Europe, you will take both parts as a 40 CATS core module. For students on other PAIS MA degrees, you will have the option of selecting one or both of these as 20 CATS modules.