Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PAIR3026 European Security Governance

Module Overview

It is the first time in history that we can approach the problem of European security architecture in terms of governance, rather than hegemony or the balance of power. The proliferation of European and global institutions concerned with addressing different dimensions of broadly defined security is encouraging and an indication of progress in light of the extremely violent first half of the 20th century. At the same time, however, some of Europe’s centuries-old demons seem to have returned with vengeance (conflict with Russia) and new challenges undermine the established security order (Brexit). At the centre of these progressive and regressive developments is the EU and the ever-important problem of the nature and scope of European integration. In the field of international security, the EU has made an important, if often overlooked progress, transforming the very approach to long-term security challenges. At the same time, the security dimension of European integration is very much work in progress and, in light of the aforementioned challenges, raises some fundamental questions.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The primary objective of this module is to equip students with the knowledge and understanding of the EU and European integration in the context of European security governance. Focusing on three key dimensions of this subject, the module will address: (a) the current and historical theoretical debates surrounding the problem of European security (including often overlooked early theories of international and European integration, which took place during the inter-war period and World War 2 (WW2)); (b) the most recent institutional developments involving NATO, the UN and the EU (including the often overlooked role and instruments of the European Commission in enhancing international security, specifically focusing on the Instrument for Stability, and currently Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace); (c) security problems which are prominent on the European policy agenda, including terrorism and counter-terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, climate change and non-traditional security problems, and – more recently – Russia and the conflict in Ukraine.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify key theoretical debates and institutional aspects of European security governance, as well as key problems on the contemporary European security agenda.
  • Explain the contemporary and historical empirical dynamics of European security governance and relate them to theoretical debates.
  • Apply the knowledge of institutions involved in European security governance to devise strategies for addressing contemporary security problems.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the current structures of European security governance based on how well they are suited for addressing contemporary security problems.
  • Analyse a research paper and assess its merits.


The module may cover the following sample topics, depending on developments in European security in a given year: International Relations Theory and European Security European Security Governance Peace through European Integration The Evolution of Security Theories The EU and International Security: CFSP/CSDP The EU and International Security: European Commission NATO and Transatlantic Relations The United Nations System of Security Russia, the West and Conflict in Ukraine Terrorism and Counter-terrorism Proliferation of WMDs Climate Security

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered through a combination of traditional and innovative methods, including: (a) Lectures (1 hour per week): allowing students to receive an in-depth introduction for each week’s topic. (b) Blended Learning Sessions (1 hour per week): allowing students to instantly practice the newly acquired knowledge through problem-based learning activities. (c) Student-led Tutorials (2 hours fortnightly): led by students, who must open up the discussion with a presentation on assigned reading, followed by the debate involving all students. (d) On-line Assessment Preparation (1 hour per week): facilitated through an on-line collaboration platform Microsoft Teams.

Independent Study102
Blended Learning24
Guided independent study12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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

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. 

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



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1500 words) 45%
Policy Brief Report  (1500 words) 45%
Tutorial presentation  ( hours) 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.