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This course examines the importance of the EU as a promoter of peace, democracy and economic prosperity in the European continent and its neighbourhood. As an honours course, it strongly encourages individual student application of research through self-study methods and regular participation in seminar discussions.
While the course focuses on the EU’s engagement as a promoter and main supporter of post-communist democratisation and economic marketisation of the countries of the former communist bloc, it also critically evaluates the causes and consequences of the different political and economic developments in the “two Europes” since the end of World War II. It investigates the geo-political, social and economic conditions and motives that contributed to the creation of the EU’s predecessor (the EEC) in the time of the Cold War division of Europe as well as the causes of the failure and collapse of the communist political and economic “project” in the eastern part of the continent. Herein, special attention is paid to the examination of the recent EU role in promoting and supporting the democratic and economic transition of post-communist countries in East Central and Eastern Europe through the process of its Eastern Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy/Eastern Partnership. As an honours course, this course strongly encourages individual student application of research through self-study methods and regular participation in seminar discussions. The teaching format will combine formal lecturing with student led-seminars and five-minute long introductory reports on the three most important/recent items of “EU and European news”, which one student will give at the beginning of each class. The student-led seminars will critically address the individual countries’ cases.
Through their work in this course and on its completion, students are expected to be able to:1. present their knowledge accurately, and to construct well-reasoned, well-supported arguments, using the correct forms of referencing;2. understand and critically evaluate the nature and meaning of political and economic differences between Western and Eastern Europe during their Cold War division, demonstrate an understanding of the idea of the EU’s transformative role in democratic and economic transition in Eastern Europe, and to place this in the wider context of methodological discussion in relation to transition and integration;3. demonstrate the ability to discuss independently current socio-political and economic developments in Europe and the wider world and situate this within the broader social context;4. explain and analyse the nature of established relations between the EU and its East Central European and Eastern European after the end of the Cold War;5. engage with theoretical debates relating to the examined themes and topics, particularly in critically evaluating the contribution of EU enlargement to post-communist political and economic transition of the countries in the different regions of post-communist Europe;6. design and carry out an original and independent investigation of the current socio-political and economic development problems in one country of the formerly communist Eastern Europe and critically address the impact of established relations with the EU on the success of the post-communist transition of this country;7. demonstrate their capacity to engage with current issues of significance in society; 8. demonstrate commitment to high levels of academic scholarship;.9. present the results of their original investigation in writing and orally;10. demonstrate an ability to think critically along the continuum “Knowledge-Comprehension-Application-Analysis-Synthesis-Evaluation”.
Subject to approval of the NCRE Director.
Domestic fee $923.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
National Centre for Research on Europe.