Order and Power in Europe

Overview and aims

This module incorporates different theoretical perspectives to help you understand and explain the complex interplay of social, political and economic processes that help to determine the nature of European international relations. In particular, the module considers historical and contemporary processes of integration in Europe, European foreign and economic policy-making, and the challenges that the ‘European project’ currently faces. Ultimately, the overall aim of the module is to help you develop an appreciation of how European wealth and power relate to each other, how European integration has progressed, and what the future of international relations within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world is likely to look like.

Module content

This module offers you the opportunity to study different social, political and economic characteristics of Europe, and draws on traditional international relations, international political economy (as a sub-field of international relations) and European studies in order to do so.

Module topics

  • Perspectives on European political economy
  • Europe and the world economy: NAFTA, BRICS and the rest
  • The Political Economy of New Europe
  • Europe in the 21st Century: the benefits of integration and the risk of disintegration
  • Financial crises and challenges to European stability
  • Wealth, power and militarism in European foreign policy

Learning outcomes

After studying this module you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the main themes, theories and concepts in international political economy (as a sub-field of international relations) pertaining to contemporary wealth, power and integration in Europe
  • demonstrate the ability to apply theory to practice in policy debates focusing on aspects of European international relations
  • demonstrate the ability to analyse contemporary events, actors and processes, and explain aspects of the contemporary European system that influence power and wealth
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the connections between processes of globalisation, energy security, migration, demographic growth, functionalism, economic crises, military conflict and human security in Europe and its neighbourhood

This module will help you gain the skills and qualities to:

  • produce written research-informed analyses of aspects of the contemporary international relations of Europe
  • independently conduct research by finding, critically assessing and using primary and secondary information
  • communicate and critically debate with fellow students and lecturers

Back to International Relations curriculum