from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Life In Cold Blood: Sophisticated SerpentsSunday, 30th August 2015 08:00 - YesterdayThey get a bad rap in the Bible, but snakes are really quite wonderful Read more: Life In Cold Blood: Sophisticated Serpents
Life In Cold Blood: Sophisticated SerpentsSunday, 30th August 2015 13:00 - Yesterday
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 1Sunday, 30th August 2015 18:00 - BBC Two
More or Less: Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes and runnersSunday, 30th August 2015 20:00 - BBC Radio 4
More or Less: Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes and runnersAvailable until Sunday, 27th September 2015 16:55More or Less investigates the Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes, engineering and how sprinters run so fast. Read more: More or Less: Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes and runners
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 1Available until Tuesday, 29th September 2015 19:00
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school: Episode TwoAvailable until Monday, 28th September 2015 01:55
Canals: The Making of a Nation: EngineeringAvailable until Friday, 2nd October 2015 01:50
OpenLearn Live: August Bank Holiday Special 2015Not so much live, but with a great collection of free courses, things to watch and listen to, and... Read more: OpenLearn Live: August Bank Holiday Special 2015
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese schoolIn a unique experiment, five teachers from China take over the education of 50 teenagers in a... Read more: Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school
Challenges in advanced management accountingThis free course, Challenges in advanced management accounting, focuses on strategic management... Try: Challenges in advanced management accounting now
Forensic psychologyDiscover how psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations and... Try: Forensic psychology now
What is Europe?
The European Union (EU), formed out of the ashes of the Second World War, continues to...
The European Union (EU), formed out of the ashes of the Second World War, continues to expand in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite the EU's growing size and significance the question 'What is Europe?' still resonates through the continent. This unit looks at a range of different views on the question, contrasting different conceptions of Europeanness and outlining competing visions for the future of the EU.
After studying this unit you will be able to:
- appreciate the historical development of ‘Europe’ as a political and economic entity;
- understand the rationale for the emergence of the idea of ‘Europe’ in policy making;
- see the difficulty in defining what Europe is and its limits;
- understand the contested nature of the idea of Europe;
- understand that ‘Europe’ is not coterminous with the European Union;
- appreciate the challenges facing the EU as it expands.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Europe in the twenty-first century
- 2 Defining Europe
- 3 Europe as a project
- Europe as a project (continued)
- 4 Debates on the development of Europe
- Debates on the development of Europe (continued)
- 5 Themes in European development
- 6 Conclusion
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
What is Europe?
‘Europe’ is a key issue of contemporary political debate and provides one of the most contentious questions facing party leaders and the voters of more than one country. But what is the nature of the issue, and what does it actually involve? What are the precise questions that contemporary Europe poses? Europe is in flux, and many of the key reference points of a traditional Europe have weakened or disappeared altogether. One of the key aspects of the present situation, therefore, is that of rapid change and a thoroughgoing transformation of Europe from the years of the Cold War and the World War that preceded it. This unit focuses on the different understandings of Europe that underlie the debates and disputes over the development of Europe.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Geography courses or view the range of currently available OU Geography courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 31st July 2008
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.