Jean Monnet II: Theories of European Integration

The module will enable students to understand different accounts of the European integration process and clarify the relationship between European integration and the development of EU law. The module will help students understand why EU policy, legislation and reform have developed in particular ways over half a century of European integration. Students will learn to: (a) identify and define a range of different theories; (b) analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the different theories; and (c) use theories in their essays and dissertations. For drafters transposing EU law this module will offer a comprehensive understanding of the logic of integration and a solid ground for the preparation of supporting documents (travaux préparatoires).

The module will be taught in weekly 2-hour lectures and seminars and will examined by one 5,000 word essay (maximum length)


  • Theories: What is a theory? Theory and…practice, explanation, discovery; formal, substantive and normative theories.
  • Key moments in the progress of European Integration: treaties, internal reforms, enlargements, shifts in external architecture, policy focus, and economic or social conditions. The historically of integration; theory and history.
  • General theories of European integration: Realism, neo-realism, functionalism, federalism, neo-functionalism, intergovernmentalism, liberal intergovernmentalism.
  • Theories about integration and institutions: Multilevel governance, historical institutionalism, theories of regulation, new institutionalism, networks, constructivism, civil society.
  • Europe in the World: Integration theory or International Relations Theories? Europe in the World. Enlargement and integration theory.
  • Newest Approaches to the study of European Integration: Fusion thesis, international state, consortio and condominio.
  • Europeanization, integration theory and development of European legislation: positive integration, negative integration, the ECJ as an agent of European integration.
  • Application of Integration Theories: Integration Theory and Social Science. Use of theory and the formation of hypotheses in theses and dissertations.

This course is made possible by a grant from the European Commission.


Dr Constantin Stefanou
Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies
Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
Tel:  +44 20 78625861


Page last updated: 1st February 2021