HHIA03417U HIS, The History of European Integration, 1945-2013

Volume 2013/2014
Module I-VI [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
MA-elective: [MA-elective Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
BA-elective - internal for BA students of History:
Module T4 (Subject element 1050) or Module T5 (Subject element 1051) [BA-elective studies, 2007-Curriculum]
The History of European Integration, 1945-2013
Are we witnessing a return to the dark European history of the interwar period? Contemporary Europe is currently in its deepest economic and political crisis since the 1930s. The European Union (EU) we have learned to take for granted is crumbling. How should we understand the current crisis and what are the prospects for a solution? Tracing the history of European integration since the Second World War, we shall explore the multiple roots of the contemporary EU. Since 1945, European integration has been at the heart of the reconstruction of the European continent after the destructions of the World War. These processes have in fundamental ways recast the European state system and brought peace, economic growth and stability. However, did European integration also bear the seeds of its own destruction? The lack of popular legitimacy, the complex and inefficient institutional system, the capitalist and neoliberal market orientation all have contributed to the current situation. This course intends to offer students the historical insight and analytical tools to better understand the crisis of Europe.

The course will be introduced with a crash course in the history of European integration. This will be followed by in dept studies of key events and turning points throughout the history of the EC/EU. The aim is to provide not only a general overview of the topic, but also a deeper understanding of the historical dynamics, which have triggered the move towards the uniting of Europe. A fundamental assumption guiding this course is that it is not possible to talk of one process of European integration, but that multiple, interlinked processes of integration have shaped Europe of today. To analyse the nature of these different processes and how they have weaved the political, social and cultural fabric of contemporary Europe, an interdisciplinary approach is required. Linked by a strong historical perspective including a framework of historical methodology and analysis, social sciences such as sociology, political science and law will be applied in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of modern Europe.

Course objectives (clarification of some of the objectives stipulated in the curriculum):
• to achieve a fundamental and basic understanding of the history of European integration from 1945 to 2013
• to critically analyse and discuss different methodologies, historical interpretations and social science theories dealing with European integration
• to communicate the key themes of the course clearly whether orally or in writings

- Mark Gilbert: European Integration: A Concise History. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2011.
- Desmond Dinan: Origins and Evolution of the European Union. Oxford University Press, 2006.
- European Union History. Themes and Debates. Eds.: Wolfram Kaiser and Antonio Varsori. Palgrave: London 2010.
- The History of the European Union: Origins of a trans- and supranational Polity 1950-72. Eds.: Wolfram Kaiser, Brigitte Leucht and Morten Rasmussen. Routledge: London, 2011.

Internet resources relevant for the course:
- European Navigator – Interesting home page with sources on European integration history.
- Journal of European Integration History is the leading journal in the field and might provide a first step in your search for literature on basis of which you do the written assignments.

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