Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro


The course is transformed into an examination of independent research. Further essay instructions are available by 16.4.


Course participation will be limited to the examination of a research essay based on the course literature. The registered participants will receive instructions by 16.4 about the examination details and deadline for handing in the research essay.


Dear participants of the 'Borders of Europe' course,

Thanks for your interest to participate in the course, which unfortunately has to be turned into a more simple examination of a research essay due to the current corona-directives prohibiting the lectures of Prof. Sten Berglund. Accordingly, you can indeed take part in this simplified version of the course that will involve your independent writing of a research essay based on the course literature.

The instructions for the research essay will be available to you on the 16th of April, i.e. the original starting date of the course. Rather than taking the form of any teaching or course attendance, the adapted ‘course’ constitutes your independent work on your own choice of essay topic within the subject of the course literature. The originally intended deadline of the course assignments is also applied in this simplified version whereby your independently written essay is due in late May.

Accordingly, you may already start acquainting yourselves with the course literature listed in the original course description on e.g. Weboodi. This literature list is the main point of departure for deciding which area of EU-politics that interests you in order to write a research essay in this field. In case there are restrictions on access to library services and hence the literature, we will consider other complementing literature available online, but you are in any case encouraged to search for specified literature on your choice of essay topic. The essay instructions delivered to you by email on 16.4. will include the expected format of your research essay as well as the details of examination criteria applied in the grading of your essay.

I do hope that this essay examination format of the course will fit into your distance studies during this odd spring term. All the best for adapting to the current circumstances of these seriously challenging times!

Best regards,
Kim Zilliacus

13.2.2020 at 09:00 - 16.4.2020 at 23:59


Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Thu 16.4.2020
17:15 - 19:45
Fri 17.4.2020
16:15 - 17:45
Mon 20.4.2020
12:15 - 14:45
Tue 21.4.2020
12:15 - 13:45
Wed 22.4.2020
16:15 - 18:45
Thu 23.4.2020
12:15 - 14:45
Tue 28.4.2020
12:15 - 13:45


The course is available to all students in various study programmes at the University of Helsinki.

Students are given priority to participate in the course in the following order:

1. students in MSV with the orientation Political Science

2. other students in MSV including exchange students

3. students in POLVI, GPC and ENS with the orientation Political Science

4. other students at the University of Helsinki including exchange students

Jämförande politik och förvaltning – Globala perspektiv (KSV)

Political Opinion (KSV)

Politics of Immigration (MSV)

Euroopan unionin tutkimus (POLVI)

The students should at completion of the course be able to:

- understand the foundations of the European Union and its political prerequisites

- identify elements of state- and nation-building in the European integration project

- define past and current challenges of the European Union and analyse their short- and long-term consequences

- compare and explain the development of national identities in the enlarged European Union over time

- assess the impact of various political orientations and divisions on the prospects of a common European society

- critically reflect on different research approaches applied in the analysis of European integration

Recommended timing of the course: In the middle of the studies.

The course is offered: Spring, period IV. The course may not be available every year.

Participants are expected to attend lectures, write a research essay on individually selected literature, debate in class, and participate in the discussion online.

Individually selected literature:

1. Berglund, Sten et al., The Making of the European Union: Foundations, Institutions and Future Trends, Edward Elgar 2006.

2. Berglund, Sten et al. Where Does Europe End: Borders, Limits and Directions of the EU, Edward Elgar 2009.

3. Hix, Simon, The Political System of the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan 2005.

4. Hix, Simon, What’s Wrong with the European Union and How to Fix It. Polity 2008.

5. Berglund, Sten et al., Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe, 3rd Ed., Edward Elgar 2013.

6. Cramme, Olaf & Hobolt, Sarah B. (eds.), Democratic Politics in a European Union under Stress, Oxford University Press 2015.

7. Rose, Richard, Representing Europeans: A Pragmatic Approach, Oxford University Press 2016.

8. Zielonka, Jan, Europe as Empire: the Nature of the Enlarged European Union, Oxford University Press 2007.

The course is graded on a scale from 0 to 5. Further grading criteria are supplied at the course introduction.

Course participants are examined by means of research essays, debate participation, and online discussion on the basis of individually selected literature and course material.

University lecturer in Political Science

Docent at the Department of Political and Economic Studies