Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Paolo Soave

  • Credits 10

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • 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 20, 2021 to Dec 15, 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 a good knowledge of contemporary political-institutional history, to enable students to read, in a European and non-European context, the great historical changes of contemporaneity, from the French Revolution to the Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). Students will be able to analyze the connections between internal and foreign policy as well as to understand the most relevant international processes and their interconnection with national histories. The diachronic study of the main events of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries will allow students to acquire basic key interpretations for the analysis of current scenarios.

Course contents

The lessons will cover chronologically the main turns of contemporary political history (from the revolutions occurred in 1848 to the 1980s), through a comparative analysis of the most significant historical events that affected the European context and the main non-European areas. After an overview of the main political, economic and social processes that brought to the birth of the contemporary age and culminated in the First World War, the analysis will focus on European and extra-European political history from the interwar era to the global context of the bipolar system and the Cold War.



Attending and non attending students have to study the handbook


- Giovanni Sabbatucci, Vittorio Vidotto, Il mondo contemporaneo, Laterza, Bari-Roma 2019, pp. 3-614.


Attending and non attending students have to choose one of the following readings:


O. Barié, Dalla guerra fredda alla grande crisi. Il nuovo mondo delle relazioni internazionali, il Mulino, Bologna 2013

A. Basciani, E. Ivetic, Italia e Balcani. Storia di una prossimità, il Mulino Bologna 2021

N. Ferguson, Impero. Come la Gran Bretagna ha fatto il mondo moderno, Mondadori, Milano 2009

J.L. Gaddis, La guerra fredda. Cinquant'anni di paure e di speranza, Mondadori, Milano 2017

P. Kennedy, Ascesa e declino delle grandi potenze, Garzanti, Milano 2016

A. Polsi, Storia dell’Onu, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2009

A.D. Smith, La nazione. Storia di un'idea, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli 2018.

Teaching methods

International History in the Contemporary Era is conceived as a basic course at the beginning of first cycle degree and highly attended by students. The professor will take lectures also offering students the opportunity to interact posing questions and asking for details. The professor will also use Power Point in order to fix key points of the historical analysis, as well as historical images and films. Moreover, external professors will deliver some seminars.

Assessment methods

Attending students

Attending students have to take three written tests in order to get evaluated in time for  their work, both individual and in the classroom. These tests - reserved for students who have regularly attended (the teacher reserves the right to collect students' signatures) will be based on some open questions.

Evaluation criteria for the written tests: the tests will be evaluated out of thirty. Each test will be considered passed if the student achieves at least 18 points out of the total 30.

If the three written tests are successful, the student will have access to the final exam.

In the event of a negative result of one or more written tests, as well as in the absence of one or more tests (to be justified), the student will have to recover the relative parts of the program orally during the final exam.

Students can refuse the grade of a test if deemed unsatisfactory but they are requested to make their assessment only after the written tests. In this case the relative part of the program is recovered orally during the final exam.

The marks obtained in the tests of the course remain valid up to and including the September 2022 exam.

The final exam will be oral and  aimed at evaluting the acquired historical thinking skills as well as the critical reading skills of the chosen book.

The final grade of the exam will be the outcome of the mean between the mean of the three written tests and the final oral mark.

For the final oral exam, students are requested to present themsleves with the handbook and the reading.


Non-attending students

The exam for non-attending students will be oral and aimed at evaluating the preparation on the entire program, plus the reading. This requires not a mere summary but a critical evaluation of the reading. For any clarification, non-attending students are invited to contact the professor.

Attending and non-attending students can refuse the final grade only once.

Teaching tools

Power Pont, historical images and films.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Soave