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The University of Southampton

RESM6308 From Security to Risk: European International Relations in the 21st Century

Module Overview

European countries and the European Union (EU) as a collective actor seek to co-shape the international order and forms of global governance. The EU, its member-states and associated countries face new uncertainties and risks, however, from normative and economic to political and security/military challenges and threats. These mark a shift from security to risk since the end of the Cold War which in retrospect appears as a stable environment for Western European international influence in a US-dominated Western world. This module critically examines how to conceptualize Europe’s and the EU’s changing role in international relations. It also addresses Europe’s and the EU’s evolving and sometimes conflictual relations with other states and world regions in an increasingly multipolar world. The analytical and normative orientation and wide geographical scope, curiosity-driven critical thinking and discussion, and working both individually and in groups, ensures that the module supports the development of a wide range of Hallmarks of a Portsmouth Graduate. In particular students will: have a critical and reflective knowledge and understanding of their subject, with both the ability and readiness to question its principles, practices and boundaries (HM1); think independently, analytically and creatively, and engage imaginatively with new areas of investigation within and across discipline boundaries (HM2); b able to synthesise new and existing knowledge to generate ideas and develop creative solutions of benefit to the economy and society (HM3); be intellectually curious, embrace challenges and seize opportunities for development (HM4); be able to locate, access and critically engage with information, using current and emerging digital technologies (HM5); be effective team players, able to provide leadership and to support the success of others (HM7); be able to communicate clearly and effectively, in a range of forms and to different audiences (HM8); be able to work in a range of environments, responding positively to new situations by being aware, flexible, adaptable and realistic in their expectations (HM10).

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically discuss key debates relevant to studying regional power and security in global politics
  • Develop specialised knowledge about European international relations and foreign policy in the context of regionally focused study
  • Apply relevant analytical approaches and specialised knowledge to contemporary policy debates
  • Demonstrate self-directed research and originality in problem solving


Outline syllabus: European Union external relations: contemporary history and institutional framework European Union: civilian power, normative power, superpower? Contemporary risks: new challenges for the EU Europe and the US Europe and Asia Europe and Africa

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and Seminars

Independent Study126
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Policy brief  (3000 words) 100%
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