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Regional Trends: The EU and Its Neighbourhood




Admissions requirements

European integration (200-level), Introduction to IR and Diplomacy (100-level) and Introduction to Global and Transnational Politics (100-level)


This course has three main ambitions. First, it aims to offer an in-depth overview of the European foreign policy from its theoretical as well as practical aspects (essential link theory and practice). The course will particularly focus on the discussions around European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as the main foreign policy tool with which the EU manages its relations with its neighbours. It will also draw attention to regional aspects of the policy in light of current developments in ENP partner states in the southern and eastern neighbourhood. Second, the course intends to examine how the EU functions as a foreign policy actor, especially the interplay between EU institutions and member states. This element of the course will also appeal to those who are more practice oriented; as part of the course we will visit EU institutions and other international organisations whose work directly relate to EU foreign policy.
In addition, the course is to explore the relevance of the European Neighbourhood Policy for International Relations (IR) by considering the way it has been studied. This aspect of the course will be particular interesting for those who are concerned with the current theoretical and methodological debates in IR.

Course objectives

In successfully completing this course, you will develop knowledge and other academic skills:

  • Understand the main political and economic motivation behind the EU’s relationship with its neighbours;

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the theoretical approaches to the study of EU foreign policy;

  • Acquire familiarity with the policy tools that available to the EU;

  • Engagement critically with the debates and positions the EU as an actor in the global and regional order.

  • Apply conceptual and theoretical tools to analyse the role EU plays in world politics;

  • Communicate complex arguments effectively, orally and in writing;

  • Develop the capacity to learn independently;

  • Develop research skills such as research proposal writing, data collection and analysis, research project presentation.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two-hour seminars. During the course of the seminar students are expected to take part in both in the seminar discussions; present and defend their ideas within an academic setting; and take part in group presentations. The role of the course instructor is to ensure the efficient running of the discussion.


Four elements of coursework constitute the final mark for the course:

  1. In-class participation (18%)
  2. Précis (25%)
  3. Group research project: research proposal (25%)
  4. Group research project: poster presentation (32%)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Compulsory literature:
Hill, C, Smith, M and Vanhoonacker, S (2017) International Relations and the European Union, Oxford University Press

Recommended literature:
Whitman, R and Wolff, S (2012) The European Neighbourhood Policy in Perspective: Context, Implementation and Impact, Palgrave
Gstöhl, S and Schunz, S (2017) Theorizing the European Neighbourhood Policy, Routledge
Smith, K E (2014) European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World, London, Polity
Howorth, J (2014) Security and Defence Policy in the European Union, Palgrave


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Beatrix Futak-Campbell