88044 - History Of International Relations (M-Z)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Lucio Tondo

  • 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 23, 2022 to Dec 16, 2022


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

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

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course in History of International Relations is aimed at understanding the evolution of the international scenario from the Congress of Vienna to the multi-polar post Cold War world. Students will be able to manage historical diplomatic case-studies and analyze new crises for an autonomous comprehension. History of International Relations is a basic course of international studies and for diplomacy.

Course contents

The course is made up 50 hours of frontal lectures (including two intermediate written tests) and aims at introducing students to the core tenets of the discipline, as well as to its conceptual tools. All these lectures also aim at providing occasions for in-depth discussions of class materials, such as documents and maps. Students’ active participation is welcomed, in order to implement and develop specific cross skills. Course sessions and written tests will be held on site and students will work on paper, since computers will not be allowed during the intermediate exams. The course is going to be developed over two stages: the former will analyse the issues from the Congress of Vienna to WW2’eve, and it will be followed by the first intermediate test. The latter will cover the span of time to World War Two till XXI century multi-lateralism, and the second intermediate test will close the session . The professor will give necessary information over the teaching period. Specific materials to ease study and better follow lectures will be available on Virtuale platform at the beginning of the course.

General Course (50 hours)

I Introduction to History of International relations

Foreign Policy, war, diplomacy

Evolution of diplomacy: secret diplomacy, open diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, multilateral diplomacy, public diplomacy, cyber-diplomacy.

Diplomats and consuls, treaties and diplomatic documents

II The Concert of Europe and the German rise to power

The post-Napoleonic World: Euro-centrism and Balance of Power

The Congress of Vienna, Holy Alliance and Quadruple Alliance, the Diplomacy by Conference

The Crimean War

Diplomatic Issues of Italian Unification: the Great Powers’ intervention.

Bismarck: from German national unification to continental hegemony: The Three Emperors and the Triple Alliance.

III Imperialism and WW1

From the Bismarckian system to William II’s Weltpolitik: break of the alliance with Russia and global challenge to Great Britain

Ascent of United States and Japan, Russo-Japanese War, the Chinese question: Open Door, Ishii-Lansing Agreement;

Alliance formation and polarization

The First World War: War and Peace Diplomacy; Neutrality; The Treaty of London, Sykes-Picot Agreement, Balfour Declaration.

Lenin and Benedict XV

Wilson’s Fourteen Points

IV Birth and Failure of Collective Security

Paris Peace Conference: diplomatic and cultural clash between Old and New World

Peace treaties and the League of Nations

Russian and German Isolation: Cicerin-Rathenau Agreement

From mutilated victory to the Treaty of Rapallo.

Reparations and War debts: Dawes and Young Plans

Treaties of Locarno, German entrance into the League of Nations, Briand-Kellog Pact

The Crisis of 1929, the Manchurian question, Hitler’s seizure of power, German remilitarisation.

Mussolini and Hitler: Four-Power-Pact, Conference of Stresa, Anglo-German Gentlemen’s Agreement, Ethiopian question, Spanish civil war, Anti-Komintern Pact, Axis Rome-Berlin


Anschluss and Munich Conference

Pact of Steel

Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement

The Second World War: German hegemony and Tripartite Pact, Atlantic Charter, United Nations Declaration, Casablanca, Tehran, Moscow, Yalta, Potsdam

V Bipolar Era and Cold War

The UN and multilateralism

Bretton Woods: new economic international order and American supremacy

The Cold War

People’s democracies, Long Telegram, Containment, Marshall Plan, Berlin Blockade, Mao’s China, Korean War, NSC 68, NATO

The foundation of Israel and the first Arab-Israeli War

Stalin and the Warsaw Pact

The Conference of Geneva and the spirit of detente

Bandung Conference, decolonisation, non-alignment

Suez crisis, Cold War and the Middle East, Khrushchev and the Eisenhower Doctrine

Cold War and European Integration

Kennedy and the second Berlin crisis

Cuba and the missile crisis

The Break between USSR and PRC

Vietnam War

Six-Day War

Nixon, Kissinger, Brezhnev and Detente: nuclear diplomacy, 1963 agreement, NPT, ABM, SALT, triangular diplomacy

Yom Kippur War and Oil revolution

Ostpolitik and Helsinki final Act

Second Cold War and the decline of the USSR: Carter, Euro-missiles, Iranian revolution, Occupation of Afghanistan.

Reagan, INF Agreement

The collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the USSR

VI The post-bipolar World

German reunification, European restart

Bush sr., Clinton and Democratic Enlargement, 9/11 and American unilateralism;

The new China, globalisation and multilateralism

VII The Rise of Russia and China

From the URSS to the Russian Federation; China’s Rise; SCO and the New Silk Road

VIII The Arctic

Global warming and geopolitical questions


All the following books and sources are mandatory for both attending and non-attending students


· Luciano Monzali-Federico Imperato-Rosario Milano-Giuseppe Spagnulo, Storia delle Relazioni Internazionali (1492-1918). Dall’ascesa dell’Europa alla Prima Guerra Mondiale, Vol. I, Mondadori Università, Milano, 2022

pp. 167-247; pp. 275-476

· Luciano Monzali-Federico Imperato-Rosario Milano-Giuseppe Spagnulo, Storia delle Relazioni Internazionali (1919-2021). Tra Stati nazionali, potenze continentali e organizzazioni sovranazionali, Vol. II, Mondadori Università, Milano, 2022

pp. 3-701

One of the following readings, both attending and non attending students:

H.A. Kissinger, L'arte della diplomazia, Sperling & Kupfer, Milano 2014;

- G. Lenzi, Diplomazia: passato, presente e futuro, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli 2020

- R. Milano, L'Italia e l'Iran di Khomeini (1979-1989), Le Monnier, Milano 2020

- L. Monzali, P. Soave (editors), Italy and the Middle East. Geopolitics, Dialogue and Powerduring the Cold War, Tauris, London 2021

- L. Monzali, Il colonialismo nella politica estera italiana 1878-1949. Momenti e protagonisti, Società Editrice Dante Alighieri, Roma 2017;

- B. Pierri, Giganti petroliferi e grandi consumatori: gli Stati Uniti, la Gran Bretagna e la rivoluzione petrolifera (1968-1974), Studium, Roma 2015;

- L. Riccardi, Yalta. I Tre Grandi e la costruzione di un nuovo ordine internazionale, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli 20021;

- P. Soave, Una vittoria mutilata? L'Italia e la Conferenza di Pace di Parigi, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli 2020;

- G. Spagnulo, Il Risorgimento dell'Asia. India e Pakistan nella politica estera dell'Italia repubblicana (1946-1980), Mondadori Education, Milano 2020;

- L. Tondo, L'Aquila e il Sol Levante. La politica degli Stati Uniti verso il Giappone (1920-1932), Congedo, Galatina 2008

G. Allison, Destinati alla guerra. Possono l’America e la Cina sfuggire alla trappola di Tucidide, Fazi, Roma, 2018

Other material to read, not included in the exam programme:

- Suggested readings for course sessions will be included at the end of powerpoint presentations

Any additional reading, always not included in the exam programme, will be uploaded on Virtuale.unibo.it [https://virtuale.unibo.it/]

Teaching methods

The course will be based on frontal lectures aimed at introducing the students to the main diplomatic international issues and their historical assessment, especially focusing on diplomatic activities and the evolution of the international order. There will be a particular focus on diplomacy, with its evolution and different aspects, as main core of international relations.

Attention will be focused on the analysis of geographical maps and global history records, such as American and British documents, as well as Chinese and Russian sources, with the purpose to study several questions from different points of view.

Assessment methods

Regularly attending students (the professor reserves his right to collect signatures on the spot) will be evaluated twice with written intermediate tests, the first one around early November on the first part of the course, the other one on Dec 16 at the very end of the course on the rest of the programme. Specific instructions on what to study before each test will be given by the professor. The tests will be based on some open questions stimulating the students' skills in historical thinking.

The grade will have an 18/30 range. In case of insufficient mark, or absence at any of the tests (always to justify), this will be made up at the final oral exam. The students have the right to refuse the mark of a test, but they are kindly advised to decide this after having taken both tests. Also in this case, the recovery of the test will take place orally during the final exam.

As concerns the students who have passed both tests and do not want to refuse any mark, the final exam will consist in a few questions aimed at assessing history reasoning skills, as well as the discussion and critical thinking, not a simple summary, of the book chosen by the students, without contents questions already faced during the written tests.

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

Non attending students will take the exam in a single oral test on the whole programme, included the reading at their choosing

Students have the right to refuse the final mark only once.

Teaching tools

The teacher will deliver some sources and slides, available on Virtuale.unibo.it [https://virtuale.unibo.it/], in order to integrate and summarize the programme.

Office Hours

During the teaching semester: Friday 3-4 pm on site; Room 3D

Afterwards, on-line on TEAMS Platform, Friday 11 am-Noon.

Office hours

See the website of Lucio Tondo