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 19, 2022 to Dec 14, 2022


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 2022/2023

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 course will cover 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:


G. Berta, Detroit. Viaggio nella città degli estremi, il Mulino, Bologna 2019

S. Cavazza, Dimensione massa. Individui, folle, consumi 1830-1945, il Mulino, Bologna 2005

V. Criscuolo, Ei fu. La morte di Napoleone, il Mulino, Bologna 2021

C.M. Cipolla, Allegro ma non troppo, il Mulino, Bologna 1988

P. Decherney, Hollywood, il Mulino, Bologna 2017

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

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

M. Mugnaini, ONU: una storia globale, FrancoAngeli, Milano 2021

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

B. Tobia, L'Altare della Patria, il Mulino, Bologna 2011

Teaching methods

International History in the Contemporary Era is conceived as a basic course at the beginning of first cycle degree and usually highly attended by students. The professor will take lectures also offering students the opportunity to interact by posing questions and asking for details. The professor will also use Power Point in order to outline key points of the historical analysis, as well as historical images and films. Moreover, guest 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 will collect students' signatures in the classroom) will be based on some open or closed 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 case of absence from one or more tests (to be justified), the student will have to recover those 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 three written tests. In this case that part of the program is recovered orally during the final exam.

The marks obtained in the tests remain valid up to and including September 2023.

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 bring 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. 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