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Unit information: European Security in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name European Security
Unit code SPAIM0040
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Ana E Juncos Garcia
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to give students an in-depth understanding of one of the most dynamic areas of European integration: foreign and security policies. The unit will seek to establish a critical appreciation of current debates about European foreign policy cooperation; the transformation of European foreign and security policies; and the impact of EU policies on national foreign and security policies and vice versa. The unit will familiarise students with key concepts and main theoretical approaches to the study of European foreign policy. The unit will also provide an empirically informed understanding of the transformation of European armed forces and of Europe’s role in peacebuilding, conflict management and democracy promotion. In addition, the unit will take a closer look at transatlantic relations and the role of Europe in an increasing multipolar world.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this unit students will be able to: 1. develop an understanding of the key debates and contemporary challenges surrounding European foreign and security policies. 2. critically evaluate different theories and conceptual approaches to cooperation in foreign and security matters in Europe. 3. recognise the impact of EU policies on national foreign and security policies and vice versa. 4. integrate theoretical and empirical materials. 5. develop critical discussion skills, particularly through seminar participation, group work and seminar presentations. 6. make articulate, concise, persuasive and well-paced presentations in small groups. 7. write in a scholarly way about European foreign policy.

Teaching Information

One two hour seminar each week, led by seminar tutor in Weeks 13-22. Weeks 23 and 24 are used for the preparation of the assessed essay.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: a ten minute seminar presentation supported by a handout. The oral presentation provides formative assessment of the student’s grasp of European foreign policy and the student’s ability to articulate in a concise and persuasive way their position, both verbally and in written form. It provides formative assessment of learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Summative assessment will consist of an essay of 3,500-4,000 words (100%). The summative assessment will match the unit’s learning outcomes as follows: (1) The essay will assess students’ grasp of the key substantive issues covered by this unit (learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3). (2) Students will be expected to demonstrate a broad knowledge of European foreign policy and to relate these issues to relevant concepts and academic theories (Learning outcome 4). (3) The summative essay will also help students develop their critical discussion skills (Learning outcome 5). (4) Finally, the essay will assess students’ ability to engage with substantive issues in an articulate, persuasive and critical manner in written form (Learning outcome 7).

Reading and References

• Carlsnaes, Walter, Sjursen, Helene and White, Brian (eds) (2004) Contemporary European Foreign Policy, London: Sage • Merlingen, Michael (2011) EU Security Policy. What it is? How it works? Why it matters? Lynne Rienner Publishers. • Hill, Christopher and Smith, Michael (eds.) (2011), International Relations and the European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press. • Keukeleire, Stefan, and MacNaughtan, Jennifer (2008) The foreign policy of the European Union, Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan. • Smith, Karen E. (2008) European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World, Cambridge: Polity Press. • Howorth, Jolyon (2007), Security and Defence Policy in the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan.