COURSE: European Union as Global Actor

Course content

How can we best understand the European Union as a global actor? The most popular approaches to this question seek to answer it in a number of ways – by comparing it with other actors such as states, regional organisations or international organisations – or by declaring it unique and beyond comparison. The course sets out to examine the EU in global politics by rethinking the nature of power and actorness in a globalising, multilateralising and multipolarising era. This examination involves, first, understanding conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the EU as a global actor. Second, the EU’s use different forms of power, in particular physical, material and normative power, will be studied through a series of nine case studies. Finally, the course will examine whether it is possible to characterise the EU as a particular type of international actor through the comparative assessment of the case studies. This will allow students to answer the question of whether the EU is more less prone to use of normative power in global politics than other international actors?


Preliminary plan:


Introduction: the European Union as a Global Actor

  1. Understanding the European Union as a Global Actor

  2. Theorising the European Union as a Global Actor

  3. History of the European Union as a Global Actor

  4. European Union External Actions

Global Actions

  1. Sustainable Peace

  2. < >< >

    Human Rights

  3. Rule of Law

  4. < >

    Social Solidarity

  5. Sustainable Development

  6. Good Governance


  1. Judging the European Union as a Global Actor




7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment


  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28