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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: The European Union in International Affairs (PGSP11061)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe 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.
Course description Outline Content:
Section 1: Theory and Concepts
Section 2: Empirical application of central concepts across multiple policy areas
Section 3: Conclusions

Week Topic
1 Introduction
2 Conceptualising the EU in International Affairs
3 Institutions and Processes
4 Trade and Economic Relations I
5 Trade and Economic Relations II
6 Environmental Relations
7 Development and Humanitarian Assistance
8 Essay Writing Week
9 Security Affairs I
10 Security Affairs II
11 EU Relations with its Peripheries and Others

This is an MSc option course lasting one semester only. Students are required to attend one 2-hour session each week. The weekly meetings of the course include lectures, discussions and student presentations. Students are expected to prepare and participate actively in discussions. A typical weekly meeting will consist of a one-hour lecture and discussion followed by a one-hour session of student presentations and discussion.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
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
- Hill, Christopher, and Michael Smith, eds. (2010), International Relations and the European Union, 2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Orbie, Jan, ed. (2008), Europe's Global Role: External Policies of the European Union, Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Chad Damro
Tel: (0131 6)50 6698
Course secretaryMr John Riddell
Tel: (0131 6)50 9975
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