University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: EU as Global Actor (PLIT10062)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe precise nature of the European Union (EU) remains problematic for traditional explanations of international relations. The EU is neither a state nor an international organization. This course investigates the politics and legal measures that determine the extent to which the EU is a global actor. The course introduces theoretical and conceptual approaches to understanding the EU as a global actor. The course introduces theoretical and conceptual approaches to understanding the EU as a global actor. These theories and concepts are evaluated in a variety of international policy areas: trade/economic policy, development/humanitarian assistance policy, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Common Security and Defence policy. The course also explores the EUs varied relations with other major powers: the United States, Russia and China/Asia.
Course description The precise nature of the European Union (EU) has long been in question in international affairs. Non-members have had difficulty understanding and dealing with such an actor that is neither a traditional state nor an intergovernmental international organization. While the EU has significant decision-making authority in certain policy areas, it lacks influence in others. This mix of competencies in external relations can confuse non-members and strain relations among EU member states and the Union's supranational institutions. This course will investigate the complexities of the EU's role and authority in international affairs across different substantive policy areas and its relations with peripheries and other actors.

Outline Content:
Section 1: Theory and Concepts
Section 2: Empirical application of central concepts across multiple policy areas
Section 3: Conclusions

Student Learning Experience:
This is an MA (Honours) Politics and IR option course lasting one semester only. Students are expected to attend one lecture and one seminar each week. Lectures and seminars are scheduled to last for one hour each. Students must make at least one oral presentation in seminars. All students are expected to prepare and participate actively in discussions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the significance of the European Union (EU) as an actor in international affairs.
  2. acquire knowledge of various conceptual approaches to understanding the EU in international affairs.
  3. determine the most important obstacles to the EU's exercise and enhancement of its external authority.
  4. understand the role of EU member states, institutions, and non-Union third parties in the development and exercise of the EU's external authority.
  5. compare the EU's external authority across several substantive policy areas and relations with its peripheries and other actors.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course has a quota. Preference will be given to Politics and International Relations students.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Chad Damro
Tel: (0131 6)50 6698
Course secretaryMiss Claire Buchan
Tel: (0131 6)50 8253
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information