Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Nicola Sbetti

  • Credits 10

  • SSD SPS/06

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in International relations and diplomatic affairs (cod. 8048)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Sep 21, 2021 to Dec 07, 2021


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

Quality education Responsible consumption and production Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing an adequate knowledge of contemporary political-institutional history and at analyzing major historical changes of contemporaneity that took place at European and extra-European level, starting from the French Revolution up to the 2008 Economic crisis.

The acquired analytical tools will allow to improve the understanding of the relations existing between domestic and foreign policies of the concerned countries as well as to consolidate the knowledge of major international processes and their interconnection with national histories. The study of the main events of XIX and XX centuries in a diachronic perspective will allow acquiring key elements for interpreting current events.

Course contents

Lectures retrace chronologically the main junctures of the contemporary political history, using a compared analysis of the major historical events affecting the European context and the main extra-European realities. After the introduction of major political, economic and social processes characterizing the beginning of contemporary era and leading to World War I, the analysis will focus on European and extra-European political history in the inter-war period, World War II, the global context of bipolarity and Cold War and its aftermath.


Mandatory Textbook:

Antony Best, Jussi Hanhimaki, Joseph A. Maiolo, Kirsten E. Schulze, International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond, Routledge, 2015.

Students will have to choose one bookamong the followings and to discuss it at the oral examination (two books for non-attending students):

Raffaela Baritono (Eds), Political History Today: Power. Subjects. Categories, «Ricerche di Storia Politica», Vol.: XX, October 2017.

Valentine Lomellini, The Rise of Bolshevism and Its Impact on the Interwar International Order, Palgrave-McMillan, 2021

Mark Gilbert, Cold War Europe. The Politics of a Contested Continent, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

Umberto Tulli, A precarious equilibrium Human rights and détente in Jimmy Carter’s Soviet policy, Manchester University Press, 2020.

Philippe Vonnard, Nicola Sbetti, Grégory Quin, Beyond Boycotts. Sport during the cold war in Europe, De Gruyter, 2019.

Antonio Varsori and Benedetto Zaccaria, Italy in the New International Order, 1917–1922, Palgrave-McMillan, 2021

Teaching methods

The professor uses frontal lessons during which students are invited to further deepen the topics discussed and to express their opinion. The professor also uses power point to highlight the main elements of the historical analysis as well as photos and movies helping students to contextualize course contents.

Assessment methods

For attending students:

Students who have been attending the 2 written examinations, will have to undergo a spoken exam at the end of the course. The final spoken exam should be attended on the institutional and monographic part

For not attending students

Non-attending students will have to will have to undergo a written examination on the institutional part and an oral examination where they will be asked to discuss both general arguments of the course and the two chosen books.

Teaching tools

Powerpoint, Videos

Office hours

See the website of Nicola Sbetti