87149 - INTERNATIONAL HISTORY

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course provides a basic knowledge of the main political and economic processes that have featured international history since late 19th century to present. The study of diplomacy and international relations between empires and states will be integrated with topics concerning transnational actors and processes, like the development of world economy, colonialism and post-colonialism, the role of technologies as well as non-governmental forces. The provision of historical perspectives on such topics will enable students to detect the factors of both change and continuity in international and global politics, to understand the development of international crises as well as to contextualize current debates about foreign policy. Last but not least, students will become familiar with the most significant debates on theory and methods that have characterized the international literature.

Course contents

The course is divided into Two Sections:

Section One (Four Weeks): Topics

An Introduction to Historiography: Trends, Topics, Methodologies

Great Power Rivalries and Uneasy Balance in Europe and Abroad: Revolutions, Empires and Nationalisms

From Colonialism to Imperialism, and Resistance in Asia and Africa

From Industrial Revolution to Globalization and World War One

The 30-years “Civil War” in Europe, Unravelling the Colonial Orders, and the Struggle for World Hegemony beyond Europe

 

Section Two (Six Weeks): Topics

The Global Cold War: Forces, Rationales, Events and Periodization

Decolonization and the Making of Post-colonial Politics

The United Nations and International Organizations

The process of European integration

Globalization and “Power and Plenty”

The Struggle for Unipolar and Multipolar World Orders

Readings/Bibliography

Compulsory Main Textbook:

Antony Best, Jussi Hanhimäki, Joseph A. Maiolo, Kirsten E. Schulze, International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond, Routledge, London, 2014. Chapters, 6-10

One book at choice among:

Ronald Findlay, Kevin O’Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium, Princeton University Press, 2007

JürgenOsterhammel, The transformation of the world: a Global History of the Nineteenth Century, Princeton University Press, Princeton N.J. 2014. Chapters, 8-18

Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005

Akira Iriye, Global community: the Role of International Organizations in the Contemporary World, University of Caifornia Press, 2002

Mark F. Gilbert, Surpassing Realism: The Politics of European Integrations since 1945, Rowan and Littlefield Publishers, 2003

G. Arrighi, B. Silver, Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London, 1999

Teaching methods

The course is based mainly on Frontal Lectures; Ppt and Visual documentaries will integrate the teachings. Paying attention to the complexity of international history, the aim of the frontal lectures is to provide a consistent line of historical interpretation of the patterns of change.

Pending on the number of attending students, voluntary, oral presentations by single or group of students might be agreed with the Professor. The aim is to stimulate cooperation among students on bibliographical research, both by their own and under supervision of the Professor, as well as to improve their capabilities in delivering public speeches.

Lectures by guest-scholars will integrate the teachings on specific topics related to the course programme, with the aim to provide different approaches to the events and processes under scrutiny.

Assessment methods

Students’ ability to answer in synthetic and coherent form, as well as their ability in comparing problems and situations distant in time and space if required, will be rewarded with top marks. At the same time, the use of proper language and concepts from the discipline of international history, which students will assimilate during the course, will be highly valued. A superficial exposition, as well as the inability to identify the focus of the questions, will preclude student to high marks. A lacking knowledge of the main textbook will bring to a insufficient evaluation of the exam.

The students attending classes will take two written tests (one per module) each lasting 90 minutes.

The first test will consist in two open questions on the topics dealt with during the first Section, and the related chapters within the bibliography.

The second test will consist in two open questions: the first on the topics dealt with during the second Section, and the related chapters within the main textbook; the second on the monograph at choice.

Once the written test has been marked, the Professor will evaluate which students must pass an oral test in order to further evaluate their knowledge.

The student can take the oral test only after having passed the two written tests. In the event of a failure in one of the two tests, the oral will focus specifically on the Section to be made up. In the event of a double fail in the two written tests the student can take the exam only in the module for the non-attending student.

The non-attending students will have to pass a written test and, if deemed necessary by the Professor, an oral test.

As for the written test, they must prepare two books: the main textbook and one monograph at choice, as specified in the bibliography. The test will consist in three open questions to be answered in 90 minutes.

Once the written test has been marked, the Professor will evaluate which students must pass an oral test in order to further evaluate their knowledge. The oral test will again focus on the main textbook and/or the monograph at choice.

Teaching tools

Suggested readings, which related to the specific topics of single classes, will be uploaded on the AMS Campus Alma DL. These readings will provide students with more differentiated analysis on the topics under scrutiny, with two aims: first, to let them acknowledge the current scientific debate; second, to stimulate active participation to in-depth discussions during classes, both with Professor and colleagues.

Office hours

See the website of Massimiliano Trentin