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EU and IR


This course deals with the links between the European Union (EU) and International Relations (IR). It addresses how the academic field of International Relations has theorized both the European Union’s integration and its role in Global Politics. For analytical purposes, the European Union will be considered as an international organization (IO). Notwithstanding its specific characteristics, this conceptual move allows to analyse the European Union through the lens of International Relations theories.

This course will present various IR theoretical perspectives to illuminate different questions pertaining to the EU and more specifically to its role in the field of global security. It will look at three major themes: European Union and Integration theories ; EU power or not? EU in Global Security; Dynamics of IOs: the case of the EU. This course explores some questions such as: Is the European Union an actor, or even a « power » in IR? How can one explain its role? Who governs IOs? What impact do their policies produce?

Pré-requis souhaités

Some prior knowledge in European studies and IR is welcome but not compulsory.


Le nombre de crédits ECTS et les modalités d’évaluation sont susceptibles d’être différents pour les étudiants en programmes d’échange à crédits.

Bibliographie indicative

  • Hill C., Smith M., Vanhoonacker S., International relations and the European Union, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, New York, 2017.
  • Howorth J., Security and defence policy in the European Union, 2 ed., The European Union series, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2014. 
  • Mérand F., European defence policy : beyond the nation state, Oxford University Press, New York, 2008.
  • Missiroli A., The EU and the world : players and policies post-Lisbon. A handbook, EU Institute for Security Studies, Paris, 2016. 
  • Smith K.E., European Union foreign policy in a changing world, 3rd edition, Polity, Cambridge Malden, 2014. 

Formule pédagogique

The pedagogical objectives of the course are manifold: it aims at exploring IR theoretical lenses by applying them to the EU; it offers empirical knowledge about various dimensions of the EU’s foreign policy (historical evolutions, main actors, etc.) ; it helps students to link analytical skills with current political debates.

While its evaluation is mostly concentrated in a written final exam, this course is nonetheless based on the active participation of students in class. This requires students to engage seriously with weekly readings, ie. understand their empirical content but also reflect on their perspective (their question, their theoretical approach, their methodology and data). This is necessary at the Masters’ level.

En bref

Année 4 | Quatrième année

Langue d'enseignementAnglais

Temporalité Semestriel

Crédits ECTS 2.0

Nombre d'heures 18.0

Type d'enseignementCours magistral

Mode de validationExamen terminal écrit

Enseignement obligatoire

Ouvert aux étudiants en échange


Hoeffler Catherine [+]

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