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1. The Creation of the European Union
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the creation of the institutional roots of the European Union in the aftermath of the Second World War. In particular, we focus on the confluence of three factors which created a window of opportunity for European integration: (i) a political impetus to bring European states into co-operation and create a lasting peace after the horrors of war and genocide; (ii) an economic impetus to repair infrastructure and re-forge European trade networks; and (iii) the international context of the Cold War and particularly the desire of the United States to bolster European capitalist powers and prevent the spread of communism.
In this lecture, Dr Simon Usherwood (University of Surrey) thinks about the European Union and its relationship with the United Kingdom, focusing in particular on Brexit. We begin in the first module by thinking about how the EU came into being, paying close regard to the window of opportunity for European integration that arose after the Second World War. In the second module, we think about the complex question of how best to understand the EU, introducing the ideas of ‘intergovernmentalism’ and ‘supranationalism’ to help us make sense of its structure and operation. We then move on in the third module to consider the impact of EU membership on UK political life, using this as a lens to cast light on EU-member state interactions more broadly. Finally, in the fourth module, we address the thorny question of Brexit, thinking in particular about the reasons why the 2016 Referendum was called, the sheer complexity of the UK’s entanglement with Europe, and what this means for the future.
Dr Simon Usherwood is Reader in Politics at the University of Surrey. He has been researching euroscepticism since the late 1990s. His work considers broad theoretical and practical questions about this phenomenon, as well as more specific work on the UK, on UK-EU relations, on the role of pressure groups and on the media profile of eurosceptics.
Cite this Lecture
Usherwood, S. (2019, September 26). The UK and the European Union - The Creation of the European Union [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-european-union-and-the-united-kingdom/the-creation-of-the-european-union
Usherwood, Simon. "The UK and the European Union – The Creation of the European Union." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Sep 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-european-union-and-the-united-kingdom/the-creation-of-the-european-union