The European Union in the World: A Superpower in the Making?

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The European Union in the World: A Superpower in the Making?

  • Host University

    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

  • Location

    Milan, Italy

  • Area of Study

    International Affairs, International Politics, International Relations, International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    A background in Political Science/International Relations may prove helpful, but it is not compulsory.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The aim of the course is to analyze the European security environment from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. As a result, attention will be focused not just on the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), but first and foremost on the security context surrounding the EU. Several questions will be raised, in particular: how to conceptualize security at present? Are the existing theories of International Relations and European Integration helpful in comprehending security challenges? Which threats or risks are credible, and how should they be dealt with? If, as many argue, the EU lives into a Kantian world, the same definitions of security and security challenges must be questioned. Obviously, special attention will be devoted to the peculiar nature of the European Union, and its efforts to develop a defense capability of its own. Also, particular attention will be devoted to the implications of an Europe more assertive on its external relations. Is Europe doomed to dissipate its civilian power? Can a strong defense policy be a substitute for a weak foreign policy? Should Europe address the current unbalance vis-à-vis the United States? In raising these questions, the European Union will be the privileged empirical reference. Yet, when necessary to understand the problem of cooperation in shaping a common foreign policy, the national perspective will be also taken into consideration. Finally, each class has a two-fold purpose: to present the current literature on the topic of the day, and discuss the policy implications of the issue.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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