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EU and the Global Political Economy: Origins, Development and Crisis


Admission requirements

Registration for the Minor European Union Studies or admission to the pre-master European Union Studies.


Brief introducto In this course we study how the EU as a political economic actor is embedded in the broader global context, and how long-term structural developments and crises of global capitalism have shaped the emergence of the EU as we know it today. Drawing on international political economy, the course seeks to make sense of the origins, development and crisis of the EU from a critical perspective; and in doing so, it examines the merits and limitations of competing theoretical approaches to European integration.

We will discuss a range of interconnected issues including a) the origins and development of European Monetary Union (EMU) in the broader context of a global shift from Keynesianism to neoliberalism; b) the history and role of welfare state capitalism(s) and the future of the ‘social dimension’ of EU policy; c) the emergence of an EU ‘core’ and ‘periphery’; d) the sources of contemporary financial and political crisis in the EU; e) the EU’s struggle with democratic deficit; f) how EU integration and European capitalism has been shaped by the United States, and what it tells us about the structure of the post-war transatlantic order; g) the implications of the possible decline of the US hegemony and the rise of emerging powers for the EU; h) the EU’s interaction with the Global South, both in its immediate neighbourhood and beyond.ry description of the course. Please include course subject and teaching materials used.

Course objectives

The first part of this course introduces key concepts and theories of the EU. A critical overview of these theories provides the foundation for analyzing the competing perspectives on the concrete issues related to the origins, development and crisis of the European Union, both past and present. The course provides students with a solid foundation on the key issues the EU is facing as an economy and a polity, and encourages them to develop and defend own arguments about it based on the existing literature as well as interpretation of primary evidence.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


Participation: 30% (presentation 15%, overall participation 15%)
Weekly summaries: 5% (five occasions)
Paper Proposal 15%
End of term paper: 50% (max. 3000 words, exc. bibliography)


Students can only retake the final paper. The resit will be scheduled 2 weeks upon the receipt of the failing grade.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The full reading list is available in the syllabus on Brightspace. All reading materials are available in digital form via University Library.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.