EURA234-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Special Topic: European Foreign and Security Policy in the 21st Century

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


This course focuses on how the EU and its member states are adapting to an international role in the 21st century. The course will examine the institutions of EU foreign and security policy, the creation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the increasing number of civilian and military crisis management operations. The course assesses the EU's emergent strategy and strategic culture and strands of its foreign policy in action. The course concludes with an assessment of institutional changes as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, in particular the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) that have further raised expectations as to the EU's external role.

Can the EU increase its defence cooperation between Member States while dealing with Brexit? Should the EU have its own army to defend itself? Has Europe’s Russian policy failed since the end of the Cold War? What about Europe's Southern Neighbourhood? How should the EU respond to the rise of China and the US’ trade war on China? Is it fair to say that the EU remains a global leader in helping developing countries in times of global financial crisis and on climate change after the Paris Agreement?

The European Union’s ambitions to be a global power are often seen as a by-product of European integration. As the EU emerges as an economic and normative power, the EU can be understood as a new kind of international actor. Students of ‘European foreign policy’ focus on EU trade, aid and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), but cannot neglect how the EU’s international role is shaped by its strengths and weaknesses and how the Member States of the EU interact with the foreign policy of the Union. Understanding the global role of the EU also depends on how we understand power and the unique identity of the EU in the international system.

This course introduces historical developments, key concepts, policy-making and important policy areas and bilateral relations of the European Union’s foreign policy. Upon understanding basic power concepts, decision-making processes, including the creation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the increasing number of civilian and military and military crisis management operations, and key policy fields, the course then looks at the EU’s relations in its immediate neighbours, the EU, Russia, China and its global relevance with the Asia Pacific. The course concludes with an assessment of institutional changes as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, and how the EU and its Member States respond to new external and internal challenges, what do the unique strengths and weakness of the EU tell us about power in international politics. The course will also examine the potential impact of Brexit and the Trump Presidency on the shape and form of European foreign policy.

Learning Outcomes

Students who pass this course should be able to:
1. Describe the historical development of the EU as a global actor both in its internal and external dimension;
2. Evaluate different conceptual and theoretical approaches to capture the EU’s international role;
3. Explain how the process of the EU foreign policy making – the treaty changes, the creation of institutions and policy competences different policy area;
4. Understand how the EU engages in important bilateral relations as well as make relevant analysis on the EU’s role in the Asia Pacific.

The student will also have developed skills such as:
1. The ability to analyse complex material from a variety of sources and to communicate the results verbally and in written form
2. The ability to both follow instruction and to work independently
3. The ability to engage appropriately with a range of people in group discussions

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Engaged with the community

Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100-level from EURA or POLS, OR any 60 points at 100-level from Schedule V of the BA.


EURO234, and POLS234 after 2013

Equivalent Courses

POLS234 after 2013

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Serena Kelly


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Attendance and participation 10%
Oral presentation 25% Arranged weeks 1-2
Essay - 3,000 words 35%
120-minute in-class test 30%

Textbooks / Resources

Textbooks (for reference, there is no set text for this course):

Hill, C. and Smith, M. (eds.)(2011), International Relations and the European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Keukeleire, S. and Delreux, T. (eds.) (2014), The Foreign Policy of the European Union, Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan

Other material, which may be helpful, can be found in the Library Subject Guides:

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All EURA234 Occurrences

  • EURA234-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021
  • EURA234-21S1 (D) Semester One 2021 (Distance)