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Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - WBB (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12) - BEMACS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/12)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

There are no prerequisites for taking this course, but students who have never studied contemporary or international history may wish to read Chapter I of Kiran Klaus Patel, Project Europe: A History. (Cambridge University Press, 2020). This text is covered in the course, but it also serves as a useful background reading for students who wish to have an introduction to the subject.

Mission & Content Summary

We live in a Europe governed by complex institutions and characterized by many layers of international cooperation – products of a long historical integration process. But the purpose and consequences of European integration and the role of European institutions are contested between fundamentally different interpretations. For some, regional integration has been a peace project developed in the wake of world war; for others, the supranational institutions of the European Union are instruments of economic globalization dominated by multinational corporations. Some see European institutions as guarantors of human rights and unifying forces against destructive nationalism, while others oppose them as neoliberal constructs designed to suppress the sovereignty of nations and societies. Such debates – which have become central features of today’s electoral politics and changing business environments – require us to study the histories of European integration and cooperation to better understand the past, navigate the present, and make decisions about the future of Europe.


This elective course provides an overview of the key developments in the history of European integration in a global context, from the international peace settlement following the Second World War to the completion of the Single European Market, the establishment of the European Union in the 1990s to its enlargement to include Eastern Europe a decade later. In this course, we discuss themes like the geopolitics of the German question, decolonization, the Cold War, and the Soviet collapse in the genesis of economic and political integration in Europe. We study the plurality of “Europes” that emerged in the postwar period, including the institutional evolution of the European Communities and European Union, their challenges, and their achievements. We evaluate the roles that different actors – including multilateral organizations and multinational corporations – played in the European project. And we examine the relationship of European integration to critical analytical frameworks like internationalism, neoliberalism, and globalization. Course assignments are designed to help students apply this knowledge to their own analyses of contemporary political debates.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify key developments and actors in the history of European integration
  • Understand the role of economic and geopolitical factors in the integration process
  • Examine the making of the European Union and its predecessors in global context
At the end of the course student will be able to...

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Individual assignments

Lectures are designed to engage students on the course topics and to help them summarize and understand the content of the advanced course readings. Guest lectures serve the purpose of introducing students to aspects of contemporary European history not directly discussed in the course readings but which enrich our understanding of the course material. 

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    

    Student acquisition of the aforementioned learning outcomes will be assessed through class participation and presentations, individual writing assignments, and a final exam at the end of term. The writing assignment evaluates the ability of students to synthetize different narratives and to construct original arguments. The final examination assesses general knowledge of the course material and the ability of students to synthesize the historical interpretations discussed in class and encountered in the assigned readings. 

    Teaching materials

    Teaching materials will be provided on the course syllabus. 

    Last change 30/07/2021 14:25