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2023/2024  KAN-CCBLO2004U  The EU as a Global Actor

English Title
The EU as a Global Actor

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Magali Gravier - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • International political economy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 03-07-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Identify the main EU institutions, the main governmental actors and/or the main non-governmental actors involved in the policy and law making processes relevant for the chosen project.
  • Identify and show an understanding of the EU’s main external policies relevant for the chosen project.
  • Show an understanding of how the institutions and actors identified for the chosen project influence the EU’s external action.
  • Find a research topic and formulate a research question.
  • Select and apply analytical tools (theories, concepts, models) accounting for the EU’s international role in relation with the project
  • Select relevant data relevant for the chosen project.
  • Apply the selected analytical tools to the data collected.
  • Elaborate an argumentation making use of analytical tools and data in order to answer the research question.
  • Reflect critically on the analytical tools used and on the data collected.
  • Discuss the EU’s importance as a global actor.
Course prerequisites
Students should have followed an introductory course to EU studies from any programme.
The EU as a Global Actor:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Project
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
In the case of a re-exam, a new project must be written. (It can be on the same topic, but studied from a different angle).
Description of the exam procedure

Projects are written on a topic chosen in agreement with the course coordinator. Projects must mix empirical data and analytical tools (theories, concepts, models).
Projects must answer a research question which students have chosen themselves.
The research question is answered using relevant analytical tools and empirical data.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course aims at providing students with advanced knowledge on the EU in the particular field of the external action of the EU. With the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has gained new tools to reinforce its capacity of action outside of its borders. But how exactly does this work? What does the EU do internationally? How significant an actor is it? Why is this important for BLC students? This course aims at answering these questions by focusing on a selection of policy sectors as well as on institutional and decision-making aspects dealing with the EU’s role as a global actor. At the cross-roads between “classical” EU studies and international relations, the course will offer a choice of theories ranging from integration theories to theories of international relations in order to analyze the EU’s role as a global actor. Such a political framework is very important for business students who need to be aware of the EU’s international policies affecting conditions of business in order to elaborate successful business strategies. Finally, the course aims at combining empirical and analytical knowledge to action oriented information on the EU by using documents produced by expert organizations. In doing so, the course intends to develop the student’s capacity to identify different types of information on the EU, to enhance their critical attitude towards this information mix and to enhance their capacity of analysis by combining these sources so as to identify optimal or sub-optimal conditions for business strategies.


Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of 10 lectures. Each class lasts 3 hours. Classes 1 to 4 will set the frame of the course and will mainly consist of a lecture and class discussion. Starting with class 5, each class will consist of a lecture by the teacher, one or two substantial student presentation(s) and class discussion. The lecture aims at providing a general frame and general input on each topic. The student presentations are a substantial part of the course. They present critically a particular aspect of the topic of the day. Student presentations require group work and group research 1) to find additional scientific literature on the topic of the day, 2) to assess selected internet resources, 3) to assess the relevance of selected action oriented organizations (IOs, NGOs, interest groups, think tanks, etc.). This additional information is part of the presentation, it is presented and critically assessed during the presentation.
Feedback during the teaching period
The principal way for students to receive feedback on their readings, oral presentation and work for this course is through active participation in class. Students receive feedback via e-mail or in class for the choice of their project topic and the formulation of their research question.
Student workload
Lectures 30 hours
Exam 34 hours
Preparation 142 hours
Total 206 hours
Expected literature
  • Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker, 2023. International Relations and the European Union, OUP,4th edition. (Main textbook – compulsory reading)

Last updated on 03-07-2023