HHIK06745U HIS 74. The History of the European Union, 1945 to 2015

Volume 2016/2017

Historical core area 2: Academic writing with focus on source analysis (HHIK03741E) [Curriculum for Master´s Programme in History, 2015-Curriculum]

Historical core area 2: Academic writing with focus on source analysis (HHIK03741E) [Curriculum for the Master’s Minor in History, 2015-Curriculum]

History (ONLY BA-elective for BA students of History)
Module T5: Historical elective project (HHIB10511E) [BA-elective studies, 2013-Curriculum]


The History of the European Union, 1945 to 2015
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 have all 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. In these case studies we will work directly with archival and oral history sources dealing with the history of European integration. 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):
After the course students will be able to:
• present a comprehensive understanding of the history of European integration from 1945 to 2015
• critically discuss different methodologies, historical interpretations and social science theories dealing with European integration
• work with archival and oral history sources and discuss crictially central problems of course criticism
• prepare and carry out a source based analysis of European integration history
• communicate the key themes of the course in academic writing and discussion

- Mark Gilbert: Surpassing Realism. The Politics of European Integration since 1945. Oxford: Rowman & Littelefield Publishers, INC., 2003.
- Desmond Dinan: Origins and Evolution of the European Union. Oxford University Press, 2006.
Documents on European Union (Documents in Contemporary History). Eds.: Jan Van Der Harst and A. G. Harryvan. Palgrave MacMilland: London, 1997.

These titles can be bought in Akademisk Boghandel – KUA from mid August onwards.

Internet resources relevant for the course:
European Union documents:
- European Navigator - Interesting home page with sources on European integration history:
- Historical Archive of the European Union, which hold online collections of sources and oral history:
- Archive of European Integration, University of Pittsburg
- 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:
- Contemporary European History:
- Journal of Common Market Studies:

Group instruction / Seminar
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Exam Preparation
  • 129,5
  • Preparation
  • 203
  • Total
  • 388,5