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European Identities & The EU (Module)

Module description

Please note that module information is indicative and may change year to year.

“Europe” is much more than the EU. Where is “Europe”? Where does it end? Who is and is not “European”, and who should and should not be? This module addresses one of the most fundamental questions of contemporary politics – just what is Europe?

This module explores the relationship between different imaginations of “Europe” and the policies and visions of the EU. Europe is a concept which has dominated Western politics from the Ancient Greeks to the contemporary EU. At different times and in different places “Europe” has meant various things; geographical Europe, ethnic Europe, Europe as religion, language, culture, civilisation, history, political philosophy, and many more. The first part of the module examines theories of European identity – how do we know what “European” is? The second part addresses recurring themes in Europe – what are the elements of “European” identity? The lectures will outline these theories and themes, while the seminars will give an opportunity for debate around key themes and key thinkers. Seminar readings will consist of academic secondary sources and primary sources in the form of policy documents, media articles, and historical documents. There are as many different “Europes” as there are Europeans, and in the twenty-first century the question “What is Europe?” is even more urgent. The EU and Europe are not the same thing, and one of the EU’s greatest challenges today is that there is little or no agreement on what it means to be a “European”.

Module aims

By exploring a combination of theoretical models, methodologies and case studies, this module aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how the study of European identity has evolved over time. In the process, the module is also designed to help students explore and discuss how these debates may influence their own approach towards debates surrounding the construction of identity in Europe.

Learning outcomes

This module will provide students with a methodological grounding for postgraduate study in European Studies. We will discuss relevant theoretical issues and examine how different methodological approaches can be used to explore the formation of European identity. While providing participants with a key range of research skills, this module therefore also seeks to encourage all of you to make a virtue out of your own interdisciplinary backgrounds.

By the end of the module, students will be therefore able to demonstrate:

A detailed knowledge of the methodological and theoretical challenges surrounding the study of European identity;

A better understanding of the problems and challenges involved in developing policy in the European Union as well as in the various member states;

A command of the interdisciplinary as well as disciplinary methods of analysis in key aspects of sociology and political studies;

An ability to present their views in discussion and in written form in response to some of the issues and challenges raised by strategic gaming and European politics.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Two hours per week, one lecture and one seminar

Indicative teaching schedule

Week 1: Introduction: IPE Perspectives on Energy Markets

Part I. History

Week 2: The Industrial Revolution and the Rise of the Hydrocarbon Economy
Week 3: Power Shifts from the Neo-Colonial Oil Regime to the Rise of OPEC

Part II. Core Debates

Week 4: Energy Conflicts and Foreign Policy
Week 5: Oil, Growth and Democracy in the Global North
Week 6: Oil, Development and Democracy in the Global South

Part III. New Developments

Week 7: Hydraulic Fracturing and the Shale Revolution
Week 8: The Rise of Renewables and Electric Vehicles
Week 9: Nuclear Power and Coal: Industries in Decline?

Part IV. Market Dynamics in the Present and the Future

Week 10: The Hydrocarbon Economy in a Warming World: Threats and Opportunities

Note that this teaching schedule is indicative and subject to change.

Module assessment - more information

One unassessed presentation and one 4,000 word essay (100%)

Key information

Module code 7AAOM003

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework presentation/s

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 2 (spring)

Study abroad module No