HISTORY OF POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims at imparting a critical knowledge of the evolution of world politics over the last two centuries.
By the end of the course, students will have grown in awareness of the specific nature of the historiographical approach of the history of international relations; accordingly, they will be able to recognise the crucial junctures and issues which marked the passage from a world order centred on the Old Continent, which reached its acme in the 19th century, to the several international systems of the world community at the beginning of the 21st century. The knowledge they will have attained will provide a necessary and comprehensive cultural basis for understanding and explaining today's international political processes. Moreover, the skills they have achieved will be fully suited to taking the history exam in selection procedures for the Italian diplomatic service and, more broadly, for international careers.
Course contents summary
The course provides an introductory overview about the origin, research method, sources and definitions of our discipline. It will focus then on the pivotal historical processes concerning the relations of State (and non-State) actors in the international system over the past two centuries. The time frame, which will be analysed, ranges from the end of the revolutionary Napoleonic wars with the Restoration settled by the Congress of Vienna (1814/15) until the last decade of the 20th century with the overcoming of the bipolar system that had been established after the Second World War.
A reading list for the exam includes the following three compulsory volumes.
With regard to the 19th century:
1) Barié O. (1999), “Dal sistema europeo alla comunità mondiale. Storia delle relazioni internazionali dal Congresso di Vienna alla fine della Guerra fredda”, 1st vol.: “Il Sistema europeo”. Milano: Celuc Libri (at least from p. 217 to p. 441).
Attending students may replace this volume with lectures notes.
With regard to the 20th century:
2) Duce A. (2009), “Storia della politica internazionale (1917-1957). Dalla Rivoluzione d’ottobre ai Trattati di Roma”. Rome: Edizioni Studium.
3) Duce A. (2019), “Storia della politica internazionale (1957-2017). Dalle conquiste spaziali al centenario della Rivoluzione d’ottobre”. Rome: Edizioni Studium (only the following pages: 23-188, 258-323, 333-432, 449-578, 600-610).
Lectures will be complemented by slide presentations to analyse treaties and historical maps. Seminars and conferences with experts and scholars are also planned.
Lectures are designed to lead students' minds to an overview as ample as possible on the whole of the programme and to provide them with the interpretation keys and methodological approach they should applied to what they have to learn in their own personal studies. Classes consequently provide a supplementary enrichment of the textbooks and do not intend to cover all the topics listed in the syllabus with the same thoroughness or to rigidly follow the texts indicated in the bibliography, bearing in mind that it will be necessary to select some themes and to focus on some issues rather than others. The learner’s discernment and maturity remains in charge of being able to benefit from the lectures under the terms as described above.
Assessment methods and criteria
According to the stated educational objectives, the examination consists of a two or three-question oral interview aimed at testing not only knowledge and understanding of the themes of the course programme, but also the ability to apply the methodological instruments gained and to be able to synoptically correlate historical events. The final assessment, calculated out of 30 marks, is based upon the candidate's ability to synthesise and analyse a historical problem, the exactitude regarding at least the most significant historical data, the correctness of the presentation and the vocabulary of the discipline.
Students may take the exam either at once or separately in two parts at any exam session. In this latter case, the first part will include the 19th century (book under point 1) and the first volume on the 20th century (book under point 2); the concluding exam will cover the remaining half of the 20th century (book under point 3); the final mark will be recorded at the same time as the concluding exam and will be based upon the average of the two interim grades.
First-year students have the possibility to take the partial exam at the end of the first semester and with the same programme rules mentioned above; only in this case, it will not be necessary to register for the exam through the esse3 system and it will be sufficient to attend the exam room, with your University ID card, on the same dates as in the December/January session. Should the exam not be taken in this session or should the result of the test not be sufficient, it will still be possible to take the partial exam at any other session.
N. B.: in the event of a continuing health emergency and depending on its evolution, the exam might take place: on site, in mixed mode (i.e. on site, but also remotely online for students who request it from the teacher), or only remotely online for all. Students will be informed in due time about the mode of the exam through the esse3 system.
When studying for the exam, referring to a historical atlas is highly recommended.