Europe as a Global Actor

Module code: PL7596

Module co-ordinator: Dr Mark Langan

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of Europe’s 'actorness' on the global stage. We will engage theoretical debates regarding the EU’s external relations, particularly in terms of Ian Manners and the concept of normative power. We will examine the role of key institutions in the development of European policies towards strategic partners, notably the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission.

We will look at EU relations with key global players - including Russia, China, India and the USA - and assess European ties with developing countries in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) bloc. In particular we will explore trade agendas, aid initiatives, environmental issues and human rights, among a number of other policy areas covered by European actors in their relations with the ‘external’.

Together, we will investigate the economic and political factors that have historically underwritten EU engagements abroad, and the policy documents that have defined external policies, including the European Consensus on Development and the Global Europe strategy.


This module is studied by distance learning. 

Teaching will be delivered through Blackboard, the University’s virtual learning environment, including online presentations, podcasts, interactive message boards and Wikis, as well as one-to-one contact through conventional channels.


  • Journal article analysis (20%)
  • Essay (80%)