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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Politics Short Name: POL503
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: DAVID M Dr (Politics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Autumn Semester (Semester 1)
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)

Essay (2000 words)


Essay (3000 words)


Qualifying Condition(s) 

 A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.



Module Overview

This module provides a critical overview of the wide range of theories that have been applied to the process of European integration. After a brief historical overview of the pertinent events, the modules engages with different families of theory, before giving an opportunity to compare, contrast and reconcile the differing approaches.

Module Aims
The module will guide students through the different accounts of European integration - examined through the prism of the European Union. Students will learn to identify and define a range of integration theories. Consideration will also be given to questions of applicability and students are therefore encouraged to apply theory to empirical examples. Students are encouraged to draw on knowledge acquired in other relevant modules.
 By the end of the module, students should be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the principal theories and approaches used in the analysis of European integration. They should also be able to account for the development of a range of different and often contradictory theoretical perspectives.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module, students should have developed the skills to demonstrate the following:
Knowledge and understanding
  • Excellent knowledge of theoretical approaches, including their grounding within wider contextual issues
  • Knowledge of issues impacting the development and application of key theoretical concepts and understandings of integration
  • Ability to reflect critically upon the evolution of theory and analysis of European integration
  • Ability to deliver focused and meaningful narrative and analysis of key theories
Transferable and Practical Skills
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • The ability to research independently and effectively
  • Good time-management and other organisational skills
  • Excellent communication skills – both oral and written
  • Reflective thinking – understanding of learning processes
Module Content
Students begin by considering what theory is, what purpose it serves and the role it plays. This meta-theoretical debate is then connected to the study of European integration, specifically related to the European Union. Over the course of the following weeks, we will examine the key theoretical approaches to the study of European integration, including:
·         Federalism
·         Functionalism / Neo-Functionalism
·         Liberal Intergovernmentalism
·         Multi-Level Governance
·         The New Institutionalisms
·         Policy Network Approach
·         Social Constructivism
·         Feminism


Methods of Teaching/Learning
Lectures / Seminars / Discussions / Independent Study
Students are encouraged to take control of their own learning processes. To this end, classes will run in 2 hour sessions, with a selected journal article serving as the basis for debate and enquiry. Students are therefore required to download, read and annotate the appropriate article each week and bring a copy for group discussion.

In addition to the weekly reading, students are required to read one of the two recommended core texts in its entirety.

Selected Texts/Journals

·         Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, Mette (ed.) (2006), Debates on European Integration, Basingstoke , Hants: Palgrave MacMillan.


·         Hall, P & Taylor R (1996),’Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms’, Political Studies, 44, 5:936-957.


·         Marks, Gary, Hooghe, Liesbet & Blank, Kermit (1996) ‘European Integration from the 1980s: State-Centric v Multi-Level Governance’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 34, 3: 341-78.


·         Moravcsik, Andrew (1993) ‘Preferences and Power in the European Community: A Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach’ Journal of Common Market Studies, 31,4: 473-524.


·         Rosamond, Ben (2005) ‘The Uniting of Europe and the Foundation of EU studies: Revisiting the Neofunctionalism of Ernst B. Haas’, Journal of European Public Policy, 12, 2: 237–254


·         Rosamond, Ben (2000) Theories of European Integration, Basingstoke , Hants: Palgrave MacMillan


  • Wiener, A & Diez, (eds.) (2004) European Integration Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Last Updated

31 August 2010