Anno accademico
2021/2022 Programmi anni precedenti
Titolo corso in inglese
Codice insegnamento
LM3140 (AF:356225 AR:187281)
In presenza
Crediti formativi universitari
Livello laurea
Laurea magistrale (DM270)
Settore scientifico disciplinare
I Semestre
Anno corso
Spazio Moodle
Link allo spazio del corso
Inquadramento dell'insegnamento nel percorso del corso di studio
The course is a "characterizing" course of the MA program in Comparative International Relations (RIC) for the curricula in Global studies and European Union studies. It provides students with advanced knowledge in 20th- and 21st-century History of International Relations, with an emphasis on the events, processes, actors, concepts, and methods of inquiry pertaining to current debates on the "US world order". To the extent that it conveys a set of notions, it contributes to providing students with a secure knowledge of the main turning points in world politics after WWI, with a particular focus on those concerning the making of and the changes in the "US world order" after WWII. By putting an emphasis on the historical method of inquiry, the course provides students with the capacity to analyze events and processes in the international realm, and to develop original and well-founded interpretations about them, beyond the specific object of the course itself. With its attention to the definition of the concepts under consideration, the course provides students with the possibility to become confident with their communication skills in reference to the history of international relations.
Risultati di apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course, students should have acquired:
a) A confident knowledge of the main events, actors, and processes pertaining to the history of international relations in the 20th and 21st centuries.
b) A confident knowledge of the literature on the "US world order".
c) The capacity to formulate original interpretations on the origins and historical evolution of the "US world order".
d) The ability to read and interpret critically a bibliography in international history, and to express critical judgments on international affairs based on sound historical knowledge.
e) The ability to communicate their knowledge with clarity and precision, and to take part in debates about international affairs.
f) The ability to develop further their competence in the field of international history in an autonomous and self-organized manner.
This course requires a basis in history and political science as from RIC's admission requirements, and a basic knowledge of modern and contemporary history as from High School programs. A good knowledge of the English language (at least B2) is also required. A deep interest for the subject and a serious approach to the lessons and the reading materials are not formal requirements, but usually help.
In early 2020, then US presidential candidate Joe Biden published an article in Foreign Affairs magazine in which he outlined his recipe for a "return to US world leadership." A year later, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared instead that "the East is on the rise and the West is on the decline". Those of Biden and Xi are only two voices, and evidently not two "neutral" ones, in a broader debate on what is commonly called the "international order", which has been ongoing for years and which involves political scientists, economists and opinion makers from the four corners of the globe. Despite many divergences, all observers start from the common idea that many aspects of the post-1945 world have been defined by the exercise of a preponderant US influence and by the structuring of international relations in a hierarchical order with the US in a dominant position. Tracing the origins and evolution of this "order" through the decades is the specific contribution that historiography can make to this debate.

To this end, the course is divided into three main parts. The first part (classes 1-4 and pertinent readings) provides a broad overview of those that are usually recognized as the main turning points of world politics in the 20th and 21st century, in order to make sure that we are all on the same page with the names, the dates, and the contents of those events and processes which provide us with the basic coordinates for any informed understanding of the international relations of the period at hand (WWI, WWII, "Cold War", "Decolonization", "Third World", etc.). The second part (classes 5-9 and pertinent readings) delves deeper into the current historiographical debate about the "US world order" (its rise, its turning points, its changing features, its possible crisis), by engaging directly with some of the main works which have dealt with the subject. We will highlight both the points of convergence between different interpretative schools and those of divergence between them, the geographical contours and the forms of such power in the different phases of the 75 years that separate us from WWII, and we will debate the prevalence of multilateralism or unilateralism in the US's interaction with the other players in the system. The third part (classes 10-14 and pertinent readings) tests how such broad interpretations perform in the explanation of specific moments of change in the "US world order" from the 1970s. In the 15th and final class, we will try to strike a balance.

By discussing the strengths and weaknesses of various works, also through the comparison between them and the presentation of archival documents on some selected case studies, the course will allow students not only to acquire important notions and to formulate original interpretations on the specific theme at hand, but also to become familiar with methods of investigation and critical reflection that can be used in different contexts and in relation to different themes.

A detailed program of the classes, with indication of the pertinent readings for each class, is available in the Moodle materials.
Testi di riferimento
The study material consists of:

1. Attending students: The class notes
2. Attending and non-attending students: Primary documents and slides from the classes uploaded by the teacher on Moodle
3. Attending and non-attending students: The international affairs pages of at least one national or international newspaper (reading only). The teacher will use articles and topics from the daily press as starting points for questions and discussions, both at the final exam and during the "in itinere" evaluation process (see section below)
4. Attending and non-attending students: selected pages from the following books and articles (see class schedule available on Moodle for details):

General/introductory part
Michael Cox, “From the end of the cold war to a new global era?”, in John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford, 2016, pp. 70-83
Andrew Hurrell, "Rising powers and the emerging global order", in John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford, 2016, pp. 84-99
Lens Scott, "International History of the Twentieth Century", in John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford, 2016, pp. 54-69
Antony Best, Jussi Hanhimaki, Joseph Maiolo, Kistern Schulze, International History of the 20th Century, London, 2014 [this volume can be substituted with other similar ones, after talking with the teacher]

Monographic parts (the readings will be made available by the teacher on Moodle)
Giovanni Arrighi, “The world economy and the Cold War, 1970-90”, in M. Leffler and O.A. Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Volume 3, Cambridge UK, 2010, pp. 23-44
Giovanni Arrighi and Beverly Silver, Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System, Minneapolis, 1999
Duccio Basosi, "The US, Western Europe and a Changing Monetary System, 1969-79", in A. Varsori, G. Migani (eds.), Europe in the International Arena during the 1970s, Bruxelles, 2011
Duccio Basosi, "Oil, Dollars, and US Power in the 1970s", Journal of Energy History/Revue d’histoire de l’énergie, n. 3, 2019, pp. 1-15.
Niall Ferguson, Colossus, London, 2005
Niall Ferguson, "Unconscious Colossus", Daedalus, n. 2, 2005, pp. 18-33
Kristen Ghodsee, "When the women's movement went global", Le Monde Diplomatique, July 2021, pp. 12-13
Philip Golub, Power, Profit and Prestige, London, Pluto Press, 2010
John Ikenberry, Liberal Leviathan, Princeton, 2011
Charles Maier, Among Empires, Cambridge USA, 2007
Mark Mazower, Governing the World, London, 2012
Daniel Sargent, “Pax Americana”, Diplomatic History, no. 3, 2018, pp. 357–376
Daniel Sargent, "The US and globalization in the 1970s", in N. Ferguson et al. (eds), The Shock of the Global, Cambridge USA, 2010, pp. 45-65
Adam Tooze, “Is this the end of the American century?”, London Review of Books, no. 7, 2019, pp. 3-7

PLEASE NOTE: In all parts of the course, the lectures by the teacher in class provide guidance to the reading materials and emphasize their methodological and epistemological foundations, in order to provide students with a clearer perspective on how they themselves can build an interpretation of international affairs based on sound historical knowledge. Students who do not attend the class will have more readings to do for the simple fact they will need to make up for some missed information. In any case, both the students who attend and those who do not attend the class have to take the assigned readings seriously: neither the class notes alone, nor the summaries of the class lectures or of the readings that may circulate online or elsewhere, can be considered sufficient to prepare this exam in a satisfactory way (and in some cases, such material may be simply detrimental).
Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento
The evaluation of the learning outcomes can take two forms at the student's discretion. No distinction is made between attending and non-attending students: irrespective of attendance, any student can pick the preferred form of examination. The "non-attending students" are warmly invited to study some extra articles and books (as from the class schedule available on Moodle), but this concerns their preparation, not the form of the exam. The two alternatives are:

1) "Long" final oral exam
In this case, a final oral exam of around 30-40 minutes verifies the learning outcomes through three main questions. For all the three questions, the discussion may begin with a direct question, move from a recent newspaper article, or demand to interpret and critically comment a text in the light of the notions and capacities acquired during the course. In particular, the three questions will aim at veryfying:
1. The acquisition of the notions related to the general program (events, actors, processes, concepts) from 1918 to 2015 and the ability to communicate them with clarity and precision (1/3 to the final grade).
2. The ability to comprehend the materials pertaining to the debate on the "US world order" and to express critical opinions on them (1/3 to the final grade).
3. The ability to comprehend the materials pertaining to the changes in the "US world order" in the 1970s and to express critical opinions on them (1/3 to the final grade).

2) Evaluation "in itinere" and "short" final oral exam
In this case, the evaluation process will take in account:
1. a multiple-choice test on Moodle on the first part of the program around the fourth week of the course, so as to verify the acquisition of the basic coordinates of the history of international relations in the 20th and 21st centuries. This test has mainly a function of self-evaluation. Irrespective of a student's performance, all participants will receive one extra point to add to the score achieved in the activities below.
2. short written answers on Moodle (150-200 words) to the questions asked weekly by the professor (weeks 5-14) on the second and third parts of the program (around 50% of final grade). At least five answers are required (at least three on the second part and at least two on the third). The questions may be direct questions, move from recent newspaper articles, or demand to interpret and comment a text in the light of the notions and competences acquired during the course. They will aim at veryfing the acquisition of the notions related to the program (events, actors, processes, concepts), as well as the ability to critically discuss the issues at hand. In case you answer to more than five questions, your "best" five results will be considered for the final grade (at least one on the second part, and at least two on the third).
3. a short final essay (1000-1200 words) on a topic provided by the professor during the last week of the course (around 40% of the final grade), to be uploaded on Moodle within one week after the end of the course. This will enable the verification of the ability to develop a broader critical argument about the program.
4. A "short" final oral exam (5-10 minutes) consisting of a brief commentary on one of the written short answers or on the final essay, to complement the written tests (some 10% of final grade).

PLEASE NOTE #1: the "in itinere" evaluation is possible only during the teaching semester. Those who cannot take all the "in itinere" tests (or are not satisfied with their results) can always take the final oral exam, as from the indications above.

PLEASE NOTE #2: the "weight" of eachtest indicated above in determining the final grade is merely indicative and should not be taken in a strict arithmetical sense.
Metodi didattici
Lectures, interactive online exchange and in-depth individual study of recommended readings. The lectures are in part frontal lectures, with possible use of slides and multimedia material, and in part interactive classes. The uncertainty concerning the COVID-19 pandemic makes these indications subject to possible changes. Any such changes will be communicated in due time via Moodle.
Lingua di insegnamento
Altre informazioni
A detailed class schedule containing the indication of lesson topics and pertaining readings is available in the Moodle space of the class.

A tutorship program is available for this course. Details and contacts are available in the Moodle space of the class.

Students with disabilities can contact the Disability and Accessibility Office (disabilita@unive.it) to take advantage of the services available (e.g. alternative examination methods, readers, etc.).

The teacher is easily available for questions concerning the course at his office hours and by email at duccio.basosi@unive.it. Emails have to be written in a formal style (not "Hi prof." or "Salve prof.", but "Good morning", "Buongiorno", and the likes). Please use my e-mail address parsimoniously and do not think of it as an instant messaging app, nor as a customer care service: it is neither. Emails should not ask questions whose answer can be found in the information contained in this syllabus (e.g.: "what are the readings for this course?", etc.). In any case, I will not reply to messages which do not conform to the rules above.

Students interested in carrying out a master's degree thesis in History of international relations can ask the teacher, after passing the exam, for the guidelines for the thesis (by writing directly to duccio.basosi@unive.it).
Modalità di esame
Obiettivi Agenda 2030 per lo sviluppo sostenibile

Questo insegnamento tratta argomenti connessi alla macroarea "Cooperazione internazionale" e concorre alla realizzazione dei relativi obiettivi ONU dell'Agenda 2030 per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile

Il programma è ancora provvisorio e potrà subire modifiche.
Data ultima modifica programma