13723 - History of Contemporary Europe (1)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will have mastered the broad outline of European continental history, its political, social and cultural transformations throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as relations within Europe and vis-à-vis extra-European countries. They will be able to describe such interactions in terms of dominion as well as reciprocal exchange of knowledge, goods and individuals. They will have grasped the complex criteria for periodization, possess an initial knowledge of issues debated by international historians, and have realised for themselves the welter of sources pertaining to contemporary European studies. They will be able to describe and illustrate specific instances of cultures meeting within and outside Europe (links, hybridization, conflict) understanding the multicultural contexts; they will know how to listen, understand and debate respectfully with different cultures and viewpoints, spotting the tie-ups among different disciplines.

Course contents

The first part of the course is introductory and provides the general outlines of the historical development: political, economic and social of the European continent, as well as of the interaction and circulation of peoples and of the international relations between multinational states and nation-states, from the second half of the nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century, focusing in the final part also on the processes of European institutional and economic unification.

A second part is monographic and in the current AA is devoted to two historical moments in European history, coinciding with the immediate post-war period: the first and second post-war periods.

For the first post-war period: the course will analyze the last months of 1918 to the rise to power of Fascism, including the Versailles Conference that gave Europe a new order. It will focus  on revolutions and counter-revolutions, new nationalisms and internationalisms, the consequent emergence of Communist parties in Europe and the rise to power of Fascism in Italy.

Each year a part of the lessons is devoted to the analysis of two   'classic texts'. This year the choice falls on witnesses and 'analysts' of theit time: Angelo Tasca and his book, Nascita e avvento del fascismo (Birth and Coming of Fascism), which appeared in France in 1938 and in an early Italian version in 1950; and to  Emilio Lussu and his book Marcia su Roma e dintorni, (Paris, 1933, and published in Italy in 1944).

For the post-World War II period, particular attention will be given to the immediate  exit from the conflict and from the experience of fascism, 1944-1949, and therefore to the political, economic, social and material reconstruction of the continent, to the ethnic and social conflicts that re-emerged with the collapse of the Nazi-fascist New Order, to the "transitional justice", and to the imposition of the Cold War, and finally to the "policies of memory" initiated by the individual states that emerged from the war.


For a general introduction to European History, students can use a University Textbook. We suggest Leonardo Rapone,ed.,  L'Europa del Novecento, Carocci, 2020.

Compulsory readings:

About postWW1:

P. Dogliani- L. Gorgolini, Un partito di giovani. La gioventù internazionalista e la nascita del Partito comunista d’Italia (1915-1926), Le Monnier, 2021

P. Dogliani ( ed), Internazionalismo e transnazionalismo all’indomani della Grande guerra, il Mulino, 2020 ( Introduzione e saggi di Natoli, Rossini, Dogliani, Salvatici).

About post WW2:

P. Dogliani- V. Galimi ( a cura di), L’Italia del 1946 vista dall’Europa, Viella, 2020 (Introduzione e saggi di Laschi, Galimi, Brizzi, Triola, Schininà). Supported by chapts  7 and 8  in  Mark Mazower, Le ombre dell’Europa. Democrazie e Totalitarismi nel XX secolo, ed. Garzanti,2000

The "classical" text to discuss this year  is A. Tasca, Nascita ed avvento del fascismo (Paris 1938- Rome 1950).

One book to choice (see the list in the Italian version). It can be read in its original version or in translation. Extra books will be listed at the beginning of the course

Teaching methods

Front classes and discussion of documents and books' chapters during the course, and eventualy vision of media.

Assessment methods

Written and oral exam. See the Italian version fo the evaluation.

Teaching tools

Front lessons, analysis and reading of documents, vision of media

Office hours

See the website of Patrizia Dogliani