Module Description

Teachers Responsible: Dr. Ivan Obadić, Prof. Dr. Zrinka Erent Sunko, Dr. Miran Marelja

Basic Data: summer semester, 4 ECTS

Availability: The Module is intended for fifth-year law students, history, political and social science, economy, and Erasmus students. The project also includes an advanced seminar for the first year students taught within the General History of Law and State course framework.

Core Syllabus: This Module examines the origins and development of Western European integration since the turn of the 20th century. The first section of the course considers the antecedents of integration before 1914 and in the Interwar period. It provides a comparative basis for the second part, which focuses on the decade between the Marshall Plan and the Treaties of Rome. The final part of the course deals with the European Communities from their foundation until the Treaty of Maastricht and the evolution and role of the European Union law and institutions in the European Integration process.

Module Content: The Module covers the history of the European project, focusing on the thematic areas and key moments in the European Union's political and institutional development. Through examining the history of European idea; European integration and disintegration before 1918; the Inter-War Years and the Briand Plan; European Unity and the Second World War; the making of the European Communities and other European regional organizations; the issue of the intergovernmental or supranational character of European integration; the evolution of European governance; the origins of the Common Agricultural Policy; monetary cooperation; the international dimension of the EEC; enlargement; stagnation and revival of European integration in the 1970s and 1980s; the creation of a Single Market and European Union, students will gain a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the history of European integration and better insight into contemporary political and economic relations in Europe, the EU legal system and process of decision making in the European Union.

Module objectives: The Module is designed to help students analyse and interpret multiple perspectives on the same event or historical phenomenon by comparing the perspectives of different historians, comparing how different nations (or different groups within the same nation) view or interpret the same event. Multiperspectivity aims to gain a more comprehensive, broader and deeper understanding of events and developments in European integration history. Besides fostering critical thinking, it should develop a way of looking at the contemporary world which takes into account the temporal dimension and which recognizes that today´s events and developments usually have their roots in the past and are not just the result of things which have happened recently. The aim of such approach is to develop student´s analytical and interpretative skills and historical thinking so they would be able to examine a historical issue or question and to formulate relevant questions, to contextualise the information from the relevant sources in terms of perspective, bias, accuracy, and reliability; and finally to produce a clear, logical account based on this analysis. In particular, upon the successful completion of the Module:

  • the student should be able to understand some key lines of development of European integration over an extended period of time, particularly the phases which they have passed through
  • the student should be able to understand the causes of some of the more significant events and processes in the history of European integration
  • the student should be able to trace back the development of a major contemporary EU issues to its roots
  • the student should be able to identify the consequences and significance of particular important events and developments in EU history

Teaching & Assessment: The Module will be taught as a combination of lecturing and the discussion of selected issues in the class. Students will be expected to prepare for each session and read widely in secondary literature and primary sources, and to participate actively in the class discussion. Sessions will combine a broader discussion of historiographical questions, with a more detailed study of key processes or events. Students will write one essay. Student assessment will be based on the written essay, presentation, class participation, and attendance. These elements are designed to help students develop both the ability to express a clear and coherent extended argument through critical engagement with the existing sources and to engage in scholarly debate.

In order to integrate skills-based learning into the syllabus framework, particular attention will be given to the use of modern technologies appropriate for the digital generation. Internet will be used as a teaching and learning resource as it will provide students with access to extracts and whole transcriptions from a wide range of primary source documents (documents, articles from newspapers, photographs, audio-visual material etc.), a variety of secondary sources on the key events and developments, and a multiplicity of perspectives from different historians and different countries.  

Essay guidelines: All students taking course are expected to submit one essay for assessment. Teachers can advise you on recommended reading for the topics but not on how to write your essay. Please write the essay title, name of the course, your name and the number of words included in the text and footnotes (the maximum word limit allowed is 3,000) at the head of the essay. The bibliography does not count towards the 3,000-word limit. If you exceed the word limit, marks will be deducted. Extensions to the deadline must be agreed in advance. If you are unable to meet the deadline because of circumstances outside your control (such as illness or bereavement), please inform the course teacher at once – before the essay is due – and provide a doctor's letter in confirmation of any medical circumstances. Computer hardware, software, or printer failures or malfunctions will not be accepted as reasons for delay. If your essay is handed in late without an extension having being agreed, marks will be deducted. Your essays will be returned with comments and with a mark. The essay mark will count for 30% of the overall course grade.

Reading list: A detailed reading list will be distributed at the start of the Module. Students may consult the following introductory accounts:

  1. Desmond Dinan, Europe Recast: A History of European Union. 2nd edition (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2014).
  2. Mark Gilbert, European Integration: A Concise History. (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012).
  3. Wilfried Loth, Building Europe: A History of European Unification (Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2015).

Online e-learning resources
All course materials are regularly updated on the official E-learning webpage of the course.