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Europe: Politics and Ideas (PO225)

Topics covered

The following is an indicative list of topics for this module; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • What if Europe?
  • After WWII: guilt and responsibility
  • Division and Security
  • The Ends of Empire
  • From Cooperation to Integration
  • The relevance of European Communism
  • Social Democracy
  • The European Right
  • Revolution in Southern Europe
  • Popular Protest: A European Act?
  • The Enemy Within: terrorism
  • The New Europe
  • Discovering Europe
  • Europe and the Future of the Nation State
  • The Enemy Without: Europe and its Others
  • Europe and the World
  • European Identity
Timing and CATS

This module is a Full Year module and is worth 30 CATS

This module explores what we mean by ‘Europe’ by examining the relationship between ideas and Thefalloftheberlinwallpolitics in Europe. It analyses how the notion of Europe has influenced political discourse in contemporary Europe. It explores the themes of the idea of Europe, regeneration, ideology, revolution, political community and identity, and draws upon examples from across Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

Were the Nuremburg trials simply victor’s justice? Should NATO be abolished? Do you agree with the policy of banning the wearing of Islamic veils in public? Does social democracy have a future? Why has Europe seen the rise of extreme right-wing parties? Is popular protest a 'European' act? On what basis should the EU engage with Russia? Is there a common European identity?

Programme content

The module explores how the idea of Europe has influenced politics in Europe. In doing so, it develops an understanding of social and political issues across Europe and analyses key movements and thinking in comparative perspective. It also considers the main pan-European historical developments and assesses the contemporary debates about Europe.

Students should be able to critically discuss the relationship between ideas and politics in Europe, demonstrate an appreciation of the distinctiveness of European countries but also areas of commonality, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the available literature on the politics of Europe. Students should also, by the end of the course, have developed their presentation skills, research skills, and their ability to work independently and as part of a group.

25abril1983Case studies will highlight key issues facing contemporary Europe, including post-Cold War European security, European integration, immigration, ETA and the Red Brigades, and the revolutions of southern, central and eastern Europe. Analysis of these issues will enable you to appreciate the complex nature of contemporary European politics and the challenges facing Europe within the existing global environment.

Module Director:

George Christou (in 2016-2017, the lectures and seminars will be delivered by Kseniya Oksamytna)

Sample reading list (PDF Document)