European Studies: Historical and Institutional Perspectives on the European Union
Europastudier: Historiska och institutionella perspektiv på EU
UA / Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U)
Language of instruction
Faculty of Culture and Society
Syllabus approval date
Syllabus valid from
30 credits in social sciences or humanities + English B from Swedish upper secondary, or equivalent
Progression level in relation to degree requirements
The course is part of the main field of study European studies at the 1-30 credit level and meets the degree requirements for the degree of Bachelor, main field of study European Studies.
This course aims to further develop students' knowledge of, and ability to analyse and understand the historical development and policy-making structures of the European Union (EU). To achieve this, students examine the changing historical contexts from which the EU evolved, the roles and interactions of EU institutions, and relevant theories that have emerged and been debated around these contexts and processes
The course provides an integrated study of the historical development and power and policy-making in the EU today, based on two central themes. The first theme develops students' awareness of the interaction between the theoretical and historical developments in the study of the EU. This includes knowledge of the European integration process, the origin and progression, and the critical analysis of this by relevant theoretical perspectives.
The second main theme aims at providing students with a deeper understanding of the institutional and policy-making processes within the EU. This includes a greater awareness of formal and informal politics of power, and the balance between the supranational and nation state levels.
The lectures aim to provide an overview of the relevant historical context and theories. The seminars aim to open up discussions about the theories and their application to different cases. For several of the seminars, students will be required to prepare oral and/or written presentations. Students are also encouraged to form their own study groups.
The course will also critically examine both ‘classic’ and cutting-edge studies and documents in the history of the EU.
At the completion of the course, the student shall be able:
1) to analyse the historical processes and contexts that formed the basis of today's European Union by: a) demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the EU's political development after the Cold War;
b) demonstrating a deeper understanding of the assumptions and hypotheses that characterize different theories that have emerged to explain and understand the integration and regionalization processes, with emphasis on theoretical perspectives that focus on European integration and EU policy-creation;
c) being able to reflect critically on events in contemporary European policy using both synchronic and diachronic perspectives.
2) to understand and describe the institutional processes of the EU, and critically examine the EU as a democratic polity
3) to fully evaluate the diversity of channels for political representation in the EU and critically examine the impact of governance on several levels.
- ILO 1 (analysing the historical roots of today's European Union): Examination forms include project work involving preparation, implementation and reflection on the course's main themes linked to seminars (Seminars: 2.5hp); and written essay (5hp), focusing on the historical perspectives of the EU.
- ILO 2 (understanding and describing the institutional processes within the EU): Examination forms include project work involving preparation, implementation and reflection on the course's main themes linked to seminars (Seminars 1.5hp); and a written essay, focusing on the institutional perspective on the EU (5hp).
- ILO 3 (examining the diversity of channels for political representation within the EU): Examination forms include oral presentations, with a focus on political representation in the EU (Seminar EU simulation: 1hp).
In assessing the achievement of learning outcomes, emphasis is placed on the development of both knowledge and understanding of critical-analytical skills.
Course literature and other study material
- Cini, Michelle and Pérez-Solórzano Borragán, Nieves (2019) European Union Politics, Oxford University Press, 6th edn
- Dinan, Desmond (ed.) (2014), Origins and Evolution of the European Union, Oxford University Press, 2nd edn.
- Rosamond, Ben (2000), Theories of European Integration, Palgrave Macmillan
Further articles on the EU’s development and functions from peer-reviewed academic literature
The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).
If a course ceases to be available or has undergone any major changes, the students are to be offered two opportunities to retake the examination during the year following the change for re-examination, based on the syllabus which applied at registration.
The Language of Instruction is English.