ATS3275 - The European Union from consensus to crisis - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Politics and International Relations


Dr Ben Wellings

Unit guides



  • Summer semester A 2017 (On-campus block of classes)



The European Union is a unique historic and political achievement. It helped turn Europe into a zone of peace and contributed to the consolidation of democracy in the post-fascist and communist eras. Yet it is also a polity in profound crisis. It is challenged from within by critics of its own democratic credentials in the wake of the Eurozone crisis and from without by security threats from a resurgent Russia and an influx of refugees. Students completing this unit in Prato will gain a deep understanding of the origins of today's European Union and the pathologies of its multiple crises. They will simulate policy paths out of the EU's 'wicked' problems and leave Prato equipped to respond to the global repercussions of the challenges facing the 'new Old World'.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. explain and analyse the course and dynamics of European integration since the end of the Second World War;
  2. identify and explain the origins of the European Union's current crises in a global context;
  3. identify and appraise the architecture of the European Union and how this shapes responses to current crises;
  4. distinguish between 'European' and 'national' responses to the crises and the inter-play between these two levels of European Union governance;
  5. integrate one set of academic literature (European integration theory and history) with another (European politics and international relations);
  6. undertake a research analysis of an important aspect of European integration or a major policy area, utilising primary and secondary-source materials with written feedback.


Trips out of the Prato Centre are anticipated during the delivery of the unit.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.