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The History of European Integration


Admission requirements

At least BSA (40 ects).


Five years after the Second World War ended, the two arch-enemies France and Germany, together with four of their neighbours, created the world’s first supranational international organisation by setting up the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). This proved to be the first step in a process that led to a European Union that now consists of an internal market and monetary union. In recent decades, the European Union has steadily increased its competences to other policy areas like migration, crime fighting, social policy, and foreign and defense policy. It has also expanded from 6 to 28 members – a number that is expected to increase in the future.
This course analyses the origins and development of European cooperation, a process that started to take shape from the end of WWI. The course approaches European cooperation from a global perspective. The central question is: what were the challenges faced by European countries that explain the choice for cooperation? We will also address questions such as: why the “process” of European integration sometimes seems to stagnate and why reform in policy areas like agriculture and the budget is so difficult to achieve.

Course objectives

General learning objectives
The student can:

    1. organise and use relatively large amounts of information
    1. reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

    1. The student has knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically of {choose from list below}
    • in the specialisation Economic History the worldwide interaction of trading networks in the early modern period, the nineteenth century industrialisation of the Netherlands in a worldwide perspective, and the political economy of a globalising economy in the twentieth century;
    • in the specialisation Social History the differences of class, gender, ethnicity and religion; the transfer of people, goods and ideas; connections between people (individually and collectively), companies, states and (international) organisations (including churches) from 1600. Insights from this are used to explain current events and developments;
  • Learning objectives, pertaining to this specific lecture series*

    1. To provide students with an understanding of the choice for cooperation, the forms that cooperation took and the most important developments in the history of European integration. Students are expected to develop a firm grasp of the timing and nature of these developments, the most important reform areas, and the interests of the member states.


Zie Rooster Geschiedenis (in Dutch)

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hours

  • Lectures: 2 hours x 12 weeks = 24 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures: 3 hours per week x 12 = 36 hours *Preparation for the first exam: 28 hours

  • Preparation for the second exam: 48 hours

  • Exams: 4 hours

Assessment method

All course objectives will be assessed through two subtests:

  • Midterm examination (Written exam)

  • Final examination (Written exam)

Midterm examination: 40 %
Final examination: 60%

The final mark for the course is establised by determination of the weighted average.

Students are allowed to take again those subtests that were marked insufficient. The resit exam will take place on one single resit, at which both subtests are offered. For this resit three hours will be reserved, so that students will be able to retake both subtests, if necessary.
Please note that students can only take a resit when their final grade is insufficient. Subtests that were marked sufficient cannot be retaken.


Yes, syllabus, slides and some readings will be made available on Blackboard.

Reading list

Desmond Dinan, Europe Recast: A History of European Union (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 or 2014).
Articles, available through the University Library catalogue (see syllabus).


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration A-la-Carte
Registration contractonderwijs


C.W. van Leeuwen (e-mail address until August 2015)
C.W. van Leeuwen (e-mail address as of August 2015)