European Studies: The European Union as a Global Actor


Syllabus for students spring 2022, spring 2021

Course Code:
ES122L revision 5.1
Swedish name:
Europastudier: EU som global aktör
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
European Studies
Date of ratification:
04 November 2020
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
18 January 2021
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
30 October 2018

Entry requirements

30 credits from Social sciences or humanities + English B from Swedish upper secondary school

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main field of study, European studies, at the 31-60 credit level, and meets the degree requirements for the degree of Bachelor, main field of study: European Studies


The aims of this course is to develop students’ knowledge about the European Union´s (EU) role as an actor in the global arena, with the help of different theoretical perspectives and empirical examples.


The course explores, both theoretically and empirically, the increasingly assertive presence of the European Union as an actor in world politics, evident in the development and consolidation of such policies as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), climate change politics and as an economic giant. Focus will also be placed on issues such as diplomacy, security and civilian and military crisis management, but also on matters related to development issues and politics towards EU’s neighbours. The relationship that the Union has with non-member states as well as with international organizations is also explored in the course. The course concludes with an assessment of the impact of EU’s presence on the international system as a whole.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, the student should be able to:
1) Demonstrate a general knowledge of the EU as a foreign policy actor in the international system.
2) Demonstrate knowledge about theories relevant to the topic of EU as a global actor and be able to apply those theories
3) Demonstrate specific knowledge of those institutional actors and policy areas discussed during the course that demonstrate EU´s behaviour in the international system and as a (possible) global actor.
4) Identify and critically assess cases of European joint actions via one of the policies studied.

Learning activities

Individual studies
The lectures aim to provide an overview of the relevant historical context and theories. The seminars aim to open up discussions about the theories and their application to different cases. For several of the seminars, students will be required to prepare oral and/or written presentations. Students are also encouraged to form their own study groups.


Assessment is conducted through seminar participation and presentation, and written examination, with an emphasis on independent and critical thinking:

  • ILOs 1, 2 and 3 are jointly assessed through seminar participation and presentation (1,5hp). The seminars primarily focus on examining European Union foreign policy from a number of international relations perspectives, and on expanding students´ knowledge about the EU´s global actorness in different policy areas.
  • ILOs 1-4 are jointly assessed through a written take-home exam (6 credits)

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Duke, Simon (2017), Europe as a Stronger Global Actor: Challenges and Strategic Responses. Palgrave Macmillan (available as e-book from MaU Library).
  • Hill, Christopher and Smith, Michael (eds.) (latest edition), International Relations and the European Union. Oxford University Press.
  • Jörgensen, Knud Erik, Kalland Aarstad,Åsne , Drieskens, Edith, Laatikainen,Katie & Tonra, Ben (eds.) (2015) The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy: Two Volume Set. SAGE Publications Ltd
A list of further articles from peer-reviewed academic literature, updated annually, will be distributed at the start of the course.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course ceases to be available or has undergone any major changes, the students are to be offered two opportunities to retake the examination during the year following the change for re-examination, based on the syllabus which applied at registration.

Other Information

The Language of Instruction is English.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

GPSstudent - Malmö universitet,
Derek Stanford Hutcheson, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657379


03 May 2021 - 06 June 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö Application code: mau-11207

National application round

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 10000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 10000 SEK

Open for late application


02 May 2022 - 05 June 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö