Type of module:

Summary module description:

The aim of this module is to study how two ideas became two of the most important  forces which shaped modern Europe from the 18th century to the present day. These were the idea of the nation and the idea of the European community. With this aim in mind, the module is divided into two thematic sections:



The first section explores the origins of the idea of the nation as it emerged as a revolutionary idea in Enlightenment Europe, remoulding states and peoples across Europe and the rest of the world. The section gives historical depth to current debates on nations and nationalism exploring the development of ideas about the nation, national identity, nationalism and the nation-state, through the study of classic and foundational texts such as Ernest Renan’s famous lecture at the Sorbonne of 1882, ‘What is a nation?’, Woodrow Wilson’s ‘Fourteen Points’ of 1918, and close examination of a variety of nationalist movements in Europe, from the French Revolution of 1789, through the making of the first German nation-state, to the national revolutions of 1989 in communist Eastern Europe,  and the challenges to established nation-states by the nationalisms of the European regions which have persisted into the 21st century (e.g., Catalan, Flemish, Scottish). 



The relationship between majority, ruling nations and ethnic and national minorities is also examined as an important factor in nation-building. Does the nation-state exclude minorities?  



The second section engages with public debates about European integration and the nature of European identity as these interact with the member states of the EU and with processes of globalisation.  


Aims:

The aim of this module is to study how two ideas became two of the most important  forces which shaped modern Europe from the 18th century to the present day. These were the idea of the nation and the idea of the European community. With this aim in mind, the module is divided into two thematic sections:



The first section explores the origins of the idea of the nation as it emerged as a revolutionary idea in Enlightenment Europe, remoulding states and peoples across Europe and the rest of the world. The section gives historical depth to current debates on nations and nationalism exploring the development of ideas about the nation, national identity, nationalism and the nation-state, through the study of classic and foundational texts such as Ernest Renan’s famous lecture at the Sorbonne of 1882, ‘What is a nation?’, Woodrow Wilson’s ‘Fourteen Points’ of 1918, and close examination of a variety of nationalist movements in Europe, from the French Revolution of 1789, through the making of the first German nation-state, to the national revolutions of 1989 in communist Eastern Europe,  and the challenges to established nation-states by the nationalisms of the European regions which have persisted into the 21st century (e.g., Catalan, Flemish, Scottish). 



The relationship between majority, ruling nations and ethnic and national minorities is also examined as an important factor in nation-building. Does the nation-state exclude minorities?  



The second section engages with public debates about European integration and the nature of European identity as these interact with the member states of the EU and with processes of globalisation.  


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be expected to:

- be familiar with the debates surrounding the ideas of nation, national identity, nation-state and nationalism



- be able to compare and contrast different European nation-states and different expressions of national identity in Europe.



-be able to discuss both European and non-European examples of the cultural and political consequences of the idea of the nation



-be able to apply concepts of nation, nation-state and nationalism to non-European cases. 



-be familiar with the implications that the nation-state has for national minorities



- identify and appraise some of the key issues and problems involved in the process of creating a single European political and cultural identity



 

- compare and contrast the sources and intensity of national and regional identities in different European states, and their consequences for the European project





- locate and assemble information on the subject by their own research





- organise and articulate a coherent written argument in a coursework essay and under examination conditions.


Additional outcomes:

This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and pair/group presentation skills, as well as enabling students to analyse and contextualise works by key secondary authors and a limited number of primary texts. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources and databases and their numeracy by examination of key statistics and figures. 


Outline content:

The content is organised thematically and from a multi-disciplinary perspective, comparing and contrasting the cultural and political trajectories of a wide range of different European nations. The module commences with an analysis of the historical evolution of the ideas of nation, national identity and nationalism in Europe from the 18th century to the present day. It explores the ways in which and extent to which national identities have shaped and have been embedded in the constitution of European states. The module shows the impact of the idea of the nation a) on ‘anciens régimes’ and old and new Empires; and b) on national minorities in the emerging nation-states. The module then examines the persistence and profound significance  of  regionalist tendencies (micro-nationalisms) across Europe, (e.g., Britain, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland), in the 20th and 21st centuries, and the manner in which such tendencies affect both the process of national, as well as pan-European, identity formation and integration. The module concludes with consideration of how far, if at all, the development of the EU has fostered a common European citizenship and sense of identity, as well as the development of European representative democracy through the European Parliament and parties, and Europe’s relationship to a wider world. 


Global context:

The module includes opportunities to discuss contemporary European issues, and notably the relationship between the EU and globalisation. 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Major themes will be introduced through lectures. Lectures will be paralleled by  seminars incorporating student-prepared presentations and group discussion. Students may also undertake an academic placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 7 7
Seminars 8 8
Guided independent study: 85 85
       
Total hours by term 100 100
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 10
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One piece of coursework worth no more than 50% of the module mark can be replaced by a report produced after an academic placement. The placement must be agreed in advance by the module convenor; the length of the report is to be equivalent to standard departmental practice for coursework. 



Coursework will consist of the following:



- One oral presentation to be done during Autumn or Spring terms (10% of the total mark).



- Two online multiple-choice tests (10% of total mark each), one to be done in the Autumn Term and one in the Spring Term.



- One essay of 2000 words, to be handed in early in the Spring  Term of Year 2 (35% of total mark)



- A further piece of work which may be either a second essay or a group project linked to the institutions and work of the European Union, to be completed and presented orally by the end of Week 4 of the Summer Term of Year 2 (35% of total mark).


Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    40%

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination in August in the event of failure in this module and in Part 2 as a whole. Coursework may be resubmitted by 12 NOON on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed, the first working day thereafter. 


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 8 April 2019

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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