Cancelled Jean Monnet Course: the EU as an International Actor

Course content

The European Union as an International Actor(F2024)

The Jean Monnet Programme is aimed at both foreign and Danish students with a particular interest in European Politics. The programme consists of two parts: Jean Monnet Lectures and Jean Monnet Workshops. The weekly lectures present a wide range of perspectives on the European Union as an external actor and are given by prominent practitioners and academics within the field. The weekly lectures are open to all interested. For students wishing to sit exams at the graduate level, weekly workshops are also offered. In the workshops, the topics and themes of the lectures are elaborated upon in discussions and student presentations based on textbooks and articles. Examinations take place at the end of June.

Course Description:

The aim of the course is to provide students with theoretical tools and empirical knowledge for studying the EU as an international actor in today´s world. The programme will present the main dimensions in the study of the EU as an external actor drawing on relevant theories, concepts and approaches. The first main theme of the course is the main features of EU decision-making in the field of foreign policy and its central actors. The principal stages in the institutional development of the EU as an external actor will be analysed, and conceptual tools for understanding EU decisions in the field of foreign policy will be provided. The central role of member states will be dealt with and the implications of the Lisbon Treaty will be discussed. The second main theme of the course is the question of how to understand and analyse the international role of the EU. Here we study the main theories to understand the EU as an international actor.  The third focus of the course is a study of the different policy areas, which illustrate the varied role of the EU. We will look at many aspects of general foreign policy and areas such as security, trade and development and human rights. The course will also present the debate about the EU as a market/normative Power. In summary, the aim of the course is to provide students with the theoretical tools and the necessary empirical knowledge for studying the EU as an international actor in today´s world, that is:


  • The main theoretical approaches for analysing the EU as an external actor and their implications for concrete analyses (neorealism, neoliberal institutionalism, constructivism, intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism)


  • The central approaches to decision-making in EU foreign policy-making including the role of the member states


  • The main  functional and geographical areas in which the EU is an international actor 


  • The discussion about evaluation of EU external action.


      -     Debates about the EU as a Market and Normative power


NB! It is not possible to take this course and the Danish course ”Europæisk udenrigspolitisk samarbejde og EU som international aktør” , as the overlap in terms of content and syllabus is too big. A significant difference between the two courses is that the present course places more emphasis on the EU as an international actor and less emphasis on the link between the member states and the EU). Also, the present course includes an introduction to IR and integration theories as it is assumed that the participants don’t necessarily all have the same knowledge of these theories.


Full-degree students enrolled at the Department of Political Science, UCPH

  • Bachelor- og kandidatuddannelser i statskundskab
  • Kandidatuddannelsen i samfundsfag
  • MSc in Security Risk Management

The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities
  • Open University students


Notice: It is only possible to enroll for one course having a 3-day compulsory written take-home assignment exam due to coincident exam periods.

NB! Det kan ikke lade sig gøre at tage dette kursus, hvis man har taget Jean Monnet kurset ”Europæisk udenrigspolitisk samarbejde og EU som international aktør”, i E23 eller tidligere, da der er for stort overlap i pensum og indhold. 

Learning outcome


Redegøre for centrale begreber og teori indenfor den empiriske litteratur om forholdet mellem politisk magt og politisk ansvar i repræsentative demokratier


Acquiring knowledge about the theoretical tools and the necessary empirics for studying the EU as an international actor in today´s world (see the outline above)


Ability to use the theories and concepts presented to analyse central empirical questions in European foreign policy


Ability to assess independently future key issues in European foreign policy by drawing on the theoretical tools and debates learned during the course. Awareness of the multitude of approaches to analyzing and understanding European foreign policy.

Class teaching (lectures, group work and discussions) and lectures (by lecturers from outside the department)

Approximately 900 pages


Baylis, Smith and Owen (eds.)(2020) The Globalisation of World Politics. OUP., eighth edition


Cini, Michelle, Perez-Solorzano Borrogan (eds.) (2022) European Union Politics. Oxford University Press., seventh edition


Dunne, Kurki and Smith (2020) (eds.) International Relations Theories. OUP,


S. Ghstöhl and S. Schunz) (eds), The External Action of the European Union: Concepts, Approaches, Theories, London, Red Globe Press, 2021. 


A.Hadfield, I.Manners & R. Whitman (2017) (Red.) Foreign Policy of EU Member States. London:Routledge


Hill,C. Smith, M. and S. Vanonaacker (2023) (eds.)  International Relations and the European Union. OUP


Jørgensen, Aarstadt, Drieskens, Laatikainen & Tonra (2015) (red.) The Sage Handbook of European Foreign Policy. London:Sage.


Keukeleire, S og T.  Delreux (2022) The Foreign Policy of the European Union. Palgrave/Macmillan

Knowledge and interest in the European Union.

There will be possibilities for getting feed-back after the written exam

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
3-day compulsory written take-home assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

- In the semester where the course takes place: Three-day compulsory written take-home assignment

- In subsequent semesters: Free written assignment

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

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester


Department of Political Science, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Political Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Henrik Larsen   (2-565a4e7774813c79833c7279)
Saved on the 18-01-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students