Module Identifier IPM6830  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Alistair J K Shepherd  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 1 x 2 hour seminar per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay40%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the students are expected to have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of ESDP. This encompasses how and why ESDP developed, how it fits into the structure of the EU, how it relates to NATO and the US, and the attitudes and policies of the major EU states towards ESDP. This will enable them to critically assess the benefits and difficulties ESDP brings to the EU and its prospects for becoming an effective EU policy.

Brief description

This module examines key aspects in the development of foreign, security and defence policy within the European Union.


This module aims to provides a comprehensive examination, analysis and understanding of the development, obstacles and prospects facing the EU's foreign, security and defence policy. It aims to develop an in depth knowledge of the EU's security role, capabilities and relations with other international organisations and states.


The course explores the political, institutional and military aspects of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), as well as its effect on and relations with NATO. It examines the requirement for such a policy and the prospects for the EU to develop a coherent ESDP and an effective role in international security independent of the US. The course begins with an overview of the development of foreign and security policy within the EC/EU followed by a more detailed analysis of events through the 1990s. The module then moves on to its main focus, the development of ESDP in the post-1998 (St. Malo) period. It analyses how and why ESDP developed, what its objectives are, which states have been pre-eminent in its evolution, what institutional restructuring has taken place and what military capabilities and economic resources are required. It also examines how the EU will interact with NATO, the US and Russia. The feasibility and utility of ESDP post-enlargement and post-September 11 respectively is examined to provide some indication of ESDP's future.

Transferable skills

Throughout the module students will enhance and refine their oral and written communication skills through seminars and essays. The module should enable students to develop rigorous analytical and research capabilities and demonstrate a strong ability to critically assess information and provide concise appraisals. In the seminars the students will have the opportunity to enhance their group participation, presentation and debating abilities. Finally, they should also be able to further improve their time and project management skills and strengthen their IT skills for both research and the presentation of material.

Reading Lists

Duke, Simon (2000) The Elusive Quest for European Security: From EDC to CFSP Basingstoke, Macmillan
Hunter, Robert E. (2002) The European Security and Defence Policy: NATO's Companion or Competitor? Santa Monica, RAND
Eliassen, K.A. (1998) Foreign and Security Policy in the European Union London, Sage


This module is at CQFW Level 7