The EU, Russia and China: Competing approaches to Global Governance
Full course description
This course looks at the European Union’s (EU) relations with China, Russia and the United States (US). You will examine the significance of these relationships in the context of an emerging multipolar world, focusing on the economic, political and cultural links between these global actors. A first central concern for this course is therefore the question to what extent the EU is actually capable to play a considerable role in international politics, given its particular nature. In the end, this might not be relationships among equals, as the EU’s approach towards these states is dependent upon agreement among the EU-27. A second concern is to analyse the (overlapping) regional integration projects of the EU (e.g. European Neighbourhood Policy), Russia (e.g. Eurasian Economic Union) and China (e.g. Belt and Road Initiative) and dynamics of conflict and cooperation. Lastly, another important dimension is the international context to these relations, the interaction of the EU (or should we say “Europe”) with these countries in international organisations and global governance regimes.
Students having successfully completed the course will have:
- an advanced knowledge and understanding of the relations between the EU and Russia, as well as between the EU and China; and the effect of EU-US relations on the EU’s position in global governance;
- a thorough understanding of the complexities of such relations in the context of changing global politics, through the prism of contending IR theories, including Chinese and Russian Schools of International Relations;
- an ability to apply, combine and integrate substantive knowledge and research methods in a well-reasoned manner; and to choose appropriate theories, concepts and scientific research methods political science and related academic disciplines to analyse new research puzzles about the relations between the EU, the US, Russia and China, their competing approaches to global governance.
- an ability to critically appraise standard arguments, assumptions, concepts, theories and methods in the field of European Studies, and particularly international relations, and to critically reflect on relevant cultural, social and ethical issues;
- an ability to contribute to knowledge output and dissemination by means of a research paper and an academic presentation;
- an advanced knowledge of how to design, plan and implement an independent research project in the field of European Studies and to set one’s own objectives, priorities and develop feasible work and research plans.
We will read and discuss the work of leading academics based both in and outside Europe. A list of recommended readings (mainly academic journal articles) on the EU’s relations with the US, Russia and China will be offered in the course syllabus.