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The University of Southampton

PAIR2017 European Security Governance

Module Overview

In this module, students will explore key aspects of the contemporary European security governance. In particular, students will learn about the main conceptual and theoretical perspectives on European security after the Cold War; the institutional structure of European security governance; and the major security threats to contemporary Europe. Importantly, the module will embed the European security governance in the broader context of global trends and developments.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the key conceptual and theoretical perspectives on European security
  • Evaluate and compare the main institutions concerned with European security
  • Identify and analyse the major security threats to contemporary Europe
  • Understand how European security governance relates to the wider developments in the transatlantic area and globally


This may be the first time in history when we can study European security in terms of governance, rather than the balance of power, concert, or a defence alliance. Governance, in the context of European security, entails a dense institutional structure which overlaps and operates at different levels. States remain the main actors, but they are members of different institutions and regimes, which enable and constrain states' actions. This 'fragmentation' of authority has long been recognised in other policy areas as complex interdependence, but recently we can also, to some degree, witness it in European security governance. The module will explore these processes from different perspectives. In particular, the syllabus will cover: the key theories and concepts of contemporary European security governance; the role of relevant regional institutions, including NATO, the EU and OSCE and the UN; the major European security problems, including terrorism and WMD proliferation, but also so-called 'new security problems'; the relationship between European security governance and the wider developments in the transatlantic area, Eurasia and beyond.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods


Independent Study120
Guided independent study12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Gänzle S. and Sens, A. (2007). The Changing Politics of European Security: Europe Alone?. 

Schroeder, Ursula C (2011). The Organization of European Security: internal and external security in transition. 

Kirchner, Emil J. and James Sperling (2007). Global Security Governance. 

Zwolski, K. (2011). ‘The External Dimension of the EU’s Non-proliferation Policy: Overcoming Inter-institutional Competition’, European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 16. 

Kaunert, C. and Zwolski, K. (2013). The European Union as a Global Security Actor: A Comprehensive Analysis beyond CFSP and JHA.. 

Zwolski, K. (2012). ‘The EU as an International Security Actor after Lisbon: Finally a Green Light for a Holistic Approach?’, Cooperation and Conflict, vol. 47. 

Wagnsson, Charlotte, James A. Sperling and Jan Hallenberg (2009). uropean Security Governance: the European Union in a Westphalian world. 

Zwolski, K. (2012). ‘The EU and a Holistic Security Approach after Lisbon: Competing Norms and the Power of the Dominant Discourse’, Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 19. 

Zwolski, K. (2011).  ‘Unrecognised and Unwelcome? The Role of the EU in Preventing the Proliferation of CBRN Weapons, Materials and Knowledge’, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, vol. 12. 

Kurowska, Xymena (2011). Explaining the EU's common security and defence policy. 

Ginsberg, Roy H (2012). The European Union in global security; The politics of impact. 

Kirchner, Emil J. and Dominiguez, Roberto (2011). The Security Governance of International Organizations. 

Webber, Mark, Stuart Croft, Jolyon Howorth, Terry Terriff and Elke Krahmann (2004). The Governance of European Security’, Review of International Studies. 

Wilkinson, Rorden (2005). The Global Governance Reader. 

Hoffmann, Matthew J. and Alice D. Ba (2005). Contending Perspectives on Global Governance: coherence, contestation and world order. 

Toje, Asle (2010). The European union as a small power. 

Zwolski, K. & Kaunert, C. (2011). The EU and Climate Security: A Case of Successful Norm Entrepreneurship?' European Security Vol 20. 

Daase, Christopher and Cornelius Friesendorf (2010). Rethinking Security Governance: the Problem of Unintended Consequences. 

Kavalski, Emilian (2008). Extending the European Security Community; constructing peace in the Balkans. 

Krahmann, Elke (2003). ‘Conceptualizing Security Governance’, Cooperation and Conflict. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1500 words) 50%
Group work  (4000 words) 25%
Individual report  (800 words) 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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