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

Postgraduate Course: Brexit and the European Union (PGSP11559)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe British vote to leave the European Union has had profound effects on the course of politics in the EU. This module examines the consequences of the vote from a European perspective, looking at how Brussels and the EU27 have sought to manage the process to date, how they have been affected by it internally, and how it has impacted on their standing in the world.
Course description The 2016 Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom has profoundly affected politics within the European Union (EU). Brexit has provided the context within which EU politics has evolved over the past few years and has instigated movement in a host of areas (as well as greater caution in other areas). This course aims to understand contemporary EU politics by examining the forces unleashed by the Brexit vote as well as the response to these from the member states and the community institutions. It touches upon a number of contemporary issues, including the rise of populism and secessionist movements, the many 'crises' of the EU, and the future of the EU in a multipolar world, viewing them (as many in Brussels do) in the context of the Brexit vote.

The course is primarily concerned with understanding how the Brexit vote has affected contemporary politics in the EU, but as part of this it also examines the history of Britain's EU membership and the ways in which the UK has interacted with the integration process. This is covered in the introductory sessions so that students are able to draw on historical examples throughout the course.

The course is divided into three sections. The first section examines how the EU has managed the Brexit process, including how it dealt with the British 'awkward partner' since UK accession, how it managed the immediate fallout of the referendum, and how it has conducted withdrawal negotiations with the UK.

The second section examines the impact Brexit has had on those actors and institutions at the heart of EU politics, focusing on the changing balance of power within and between the community institutions, the perspective from the member states (and their various groupings), and the impact on regional and party politics.

The final section considers the EU's role in the world, examining recent moves in EU security and defence policy and how the post-Brexit Union fits into the emerging multipolar order, and concludes with an examination of the future of the Union after Brexit.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Outline systematically the effects the Brexit vote has had across a range of EU institutions and policy areas.
  2. Critically analyse competing perspectives on Brexit from within the UK and the EU.
  3. Critically apply different theories and social science concepts to conceptualise the impact of the Brexit vote.
  4. Critically evaluate the key drivers of European politics after the Brexit vote and weigh these against one another in determining likely future scenarios for the EU.
  5. Write for both academic and policy audiences and understand the different requirements of each task.
Reading List
Christiansen, T. & Fromage, D. (2019) Brexit and Democracy: The Role of Parliaments in the UK and the European Union (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)
Fabbrini, F. (2017) The Law & Politics of Brexit (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
Jacobs, F.B. (2018) The EU after Brexit: Institutional and Policy Implications (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)
Oliver, T. (ed.) (2018) Europe's Brexit: EU Perspectives on Britain's Vote to Leave (London: Agenda)
Martill, B. & Staiger, U. (eds.) (2018) Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe (London: UCL Press)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Benjamin Martill
Tel: (0131 6)51 1736
Course secretaryMr John Riddell
Tel: (0131 6)50 9975
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