About Dr Zwolski's Jean Monnet Chair award

A Jean Monnet Chair is a teaching post with a specialisation in European Union studies for university professors. It must also include original research activities.

This website outlines the objectives of the project as they were defined in the project proposal submitted to the European Commission in 2018. The project launched in September 2019 and lasts until August 2022.

The project aims to:

  • Promote EU studies at the University of Southampton through two innovative modules:
  • a thoroughly revised European Security Governance module, involving blended learning sessions and student engagement with policy practitioners and external academic experts;
  • a newly developed Imagining European Futures module, designed around the high-impact, student-centred methodology of research-based teaching and addressing the key challenges to European integration.
  • Promote student-centred pedagogical approaches to EU studies nationally and internationally through the innovative research activity Research-based Teaching in EU Studies, involving a series of international workshops and leading to the Open Research-based Teaching and Learning Library in EU Studies (ORTALL |EUS) as an on-line, open-access educational resource.
  • Promote excellence in the study and research of European security through the innovative research activity Researching European Security Integration, concluded with the monograph of the same title, to be submitted to Cambridge University Press by December 2022.
  • Foster a series of new and exciting teaching, debating and research activities, including the annual Undergraduate Jean Monnet Conference ‘Imagining European Futures’, the annual Jean Monnet Roundtable ‘Debating European Security Governance’ and the annual Jean Monnet Workshop ‘Research-based Teaching in EU Studies’.

The recent institutional research conducted by the University of Southampton showed that there is a clear need for Europe-related modules at UK higher education institutions, including at our own University. Currently, however, our offer in that area is very limited. The proposed project will allow developing, strengthening and mainstreaming EU–related subjects at Southampton through embedding two innovative, student-centred modules in the educational offer of the Department of Politics and International Relations, and available to students from other parts of the University.

Further, the project will foster the development of new pedagogical methodologies, debates, educational tools and technologies designed to transform the way students learn EU subjects at universities. While a number of European educational frameworks have called for innovative and active approaches to student-centred learning, the latest report from the European University Association indicates that universities often struggle to apply these principles in their educational practices. This project will, through international workshops and state-of-the art open educational resources, improve professional training and help young academics better engage with their students.

In the subject area of European security governance, the project will aim to challenge established ways of conducting research in this field, with the intention to open up new methodological, theoretical and empirical research avenues for the benefit of the young generation of scholars in EU studies. Dr Zwolski has identified a distinctive need for moving beyond the established patterns in researching European security governance in his recent book European Security in Integration Theory (700 electronic copies purchased in less than a year), and this project will allow fully addressing this need. This is particularly important in the wake of the drastically evolving European security landscape, including Brexit and the conflict in Ukraine.

The project will achieve these objectives through carefully planned debating, teaching and research activities prepared and disseminated in collaboration with key academic and civil society stakeholders, including:

  • European conferences of the European International Studies Association (EISA) (a major International Relations association) and Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES);
  • Jean Monnet-funded stakeholders (Jean Monnet Chair at the University of South Wales and Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (MJMCE)).

The interactive project website will host the Open Research-based Teaching and Learning Library in EU Studies (ORTALL |EUS) and will act as a focal point for the EU studies learning community at Southampton. In addition to open educational resources, academic publications resulting from this project will be widely disseminated through existing and new channels.

The indicators of achievement for this project include a combination of student engagement with the revised and new EU studies modules, teacher interest in the high-impact pedagogy of research-based teaching in EU studies as indicated by engagement with ORTALL |EUS, and research interest in the innovative methodological, theoretical and empirical approaches to researching European security.

Jean Monnet Chair Award

The outbreak of the war in Ukraine, combined with the consolidation of central power in China, represent an unprecedented challenge for the European Union’s global role. This Project will explore these issues through a new and innovative Jean Monnet Module “European Power and the Geopolitics of Europe and Asia”, which will be introduced to the undergraduate offering at the University of Southampton. The Module will be offered to the students of Politics and International Relations, but also students who do not automatically come into contact with EU Studies at Southampton.

The Module will challenge the dominant format of teaching EU global policy at universities through shifting away from the bureaucracy–oriented, compartmentalised approach and towards a problem-oriented, whole-of-the-EU perspective on European power in the context of the current geopolitical developments in Eastern Europe, Indo-Pacific and Central Asia. The Module delivery will involve the combination of research-based teaching and blended learning approaches.

The Project will foster dialogue between academics, experts and policy-makers from the UK and other countries through Online Seminars and the Annual Jean Monnet Roundtable. Online Seminars will involve contributions from leading experts from Brussels, Warsaw, Dublin, Tbilisi and other countries. The on-campus Annual Jean Monnet Roundtable will bring together academic and policy experts and allow students obtain first-hand insights for their final assessment. These events will be video recorded and made publicly available, thus generating knowledge and insights that can support EU policy-making.

The most immediate impact of the Project will be on Southampton students, who demand more EU Studies modules, as shown by our market research. The University will also further improve its reputation for the quality of its EU Studies, building on its Jean Monnet Chair award and membership in the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium (EUNPD).