This course explores the history and theory of international politics during the 20th century, placing the first decades of European political and economic integration in their historical context. Lectures introduce students to global political developments and the ways in which they influenced Europe’s political trajectory. The module focuses on what Eric Hobsbawm called the ‘short twentieth century’, that is the period roughly from the First World War through to the end of the Cold War, which was characterized by ideological and geostrategic competition between the western and eastern ‘blocs’. We will discuss how global politics informed the decision of European statesmen to pursue closer ties, as well as how their cooperation was shaped by international affairs. Looking beyond Western Europe, we will also discuss political developments in the Soviet sphere of influence and consider their impact on European integration since the end of the Second World War. The course thus puts the development of European integration in its global context and discusses developments at both sides of the Iron Curtain in parallel. By building explicit links to IR and to East European Studies, a multi-disciplinary way of studying the EU is opened. Another main purpose is to introduce students to basic theories of European integration, such as neo-functionalism and intergovernmentalism.
At the end of this course, students will:
• Have basic knowledge about the first decades in the development of the EU and the Soviet bloc in Central and Eastern Europe;
• Understand the global context of these developments;
• Be acquainted with basic integration theory.
• Dinan, D. (Ed.). (2006). Origins and evolution of the European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Judt, T. (2007). Postwar. A history of Europe since 1945. London: Pimlico.