History of the European Union: from World War II to the 2004 expansion

Course Dates: 01/03/22 - 05/04/22
Time: 19:00 - 20:30
Location: Online
Explore the fascinating evolution of the European Union throughout its history.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £39.00

Course Code: HPC65

Tue, eve, 01 Mar - 05 Apr '22

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

As a unique political experiment, there is often much confusion about what the European is and does. Somewhere between a loose confederation and a federal superstate, it is difficult to grasp the precise nature of European Integration. This interactive, lecture-based course will give you an overview over how and why the European Union evolved historically, shedding light on the nature and direction of European Integration. You will learn about the various Treaties of the European Union, their objectives and historical and political contexts, and how the EU operates, looking at its different institutions. In so doing, this course gives you the historical understanding needed to contextualize current political developments in European politics.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- The nature of European integration from a historical perspective, examining how its course has changed since the very beginning
- Various EU Treaties, looking at both their historical and political context and their overall significance
- Different EU institutions – why did they emerge and what are their functions?
- Analytical and conceptual tools to understand European Integration better.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Assess and critically evaluate the course of European Integration
- Understand the impact of World War II on Europe and the beginnings of European Integration
- Critically analyze the various historical stages of integration through the lens of EU treaties
- Understand and examine the significance of each EU institution for the EU and European Integration as a whole
- Embed and assess current developments in EU politics within their historical context.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous knowledge is required as this is an introductory course. That being said, an interest in current affairs may prove helpful as the area of European politics is a dynamic one. This is also reflected in the high volume of fairly recent policy initiatives and challenges. Therefore, you will gain more from the course both in terms of enjoyment and learning outcomes if you follow current affairs.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

A mixture of lectures/ short presentations by the tutor, Q&A, pair/group and class discussions. A comprehensive bibliography will be given at the beginning of the course. Also, (brief) reading materials will be shared at the end of each session. While this supplementary reading is not a course requirement, course participants will benefit more from the course if they do some of the supplementary readings recommended by the course tutor. Please note, that as the course progresses, course participants are encouraged to take a more active part in the course – this will be achieved through a mixture of smaller group work but also class discussions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Although you are not required to buy anything, you may wish to buy books, current affairs magazines or attend talks on the issue of European politics to deepen your understanding of the issues raised in the class. However, please note that this is not necessary to follow the class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may be interested in HPC41 - Recent Challenges to the European Union.

Hilke Gudel

Hilke is an academic at the London School of Economics, pursuing her PhD in political economy. She also holds an MPhil in European Politics from the University of Oxford. Hilke's area of expertise are European Integration, Economic and Monetary Union, the Labour Market and Forced Displacement. For her thesis she looks into the resilience of refugee economies in several different countries - she has conducted extensive fieldwork in Eastern DRC, Uganda, Lebanon, the UK, Sweden and Germany. She has taught courses on European Integration to both adult learners and high school students. In the past, she has also worked for both the DWP and the FCDO.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.