HST6076 Image - Djiboutian Contingent deploy more troops 15HST6076: International Order in the Twentieth Century

15 credits (Semester 2017-18: Spring)

Module Leader: Dr Simon Stevens

'At a time of immense confusion about the purpose and durability of our international institutions, a better understanding of how we came to this point may help us... The history of the evolving idea of governing the world may not provide definitive answers to [our] questions, but it can offer signposts.' Professor Mark Mazower

 

Module Summary

How should international relations be organised? This was a central question in the international history of the twentieth century. This module explores the ideas of international organisation that emerged, and how they were realised in practice in bodies like the League of Nations and the United Nations, as well as subaltern internationalist projects like the Afro-Asian and Non-Aligned movements. Why did governments and non-governmental actors create and participate in international organisations? What was the significance and impact of those organisations? And why should historians study these past internationalist projects today? Much of the most exciting recent work by international and global historians has grappled with these questions.


Module aims

This module aims to:

  1. Introduce students to the history of international order in the twentieth century through case-studies of major international organisations and internationalist projects;
  2. Analyse the significance of the history of internationalism and international organisations for understanding contemporary world politics;
  3. Explore and critically evaluate the historiography of internationalism and international organisations in the twentieth century.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the origins and significance – and the relationships between – major international organisations and internationalist projects in the twentieth century (Aims 1, 2); 
  2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the historiography on internationalism and international organisations in the twentieth century (A3);
  3. Demonstrate confidence in expressing ideas verbally, both in individual seminar contribution and group work (A1, 2, 3);
  4. Advance interpretations and supporting evidence in clear and persuasive prose (A1, 2, 3).

Teaching

Learning hours
Seminar hours Tutorial hours Independent Learning
10 1 139

The module will be taught in five, two-hour classes. The first seminar will provide an overview of the history (Learning outcome 1) and historiography (LO2) of international order in the twentieth century. Subsequent seminars will involve individual and group work on four case studies of international organisation (LO1, 2, 3). You will have the chance in seminars to discuss progress and gain formative feedback on their final essay. You will, in addition, have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to discuss your written work for the module (LO4).

 

Assessment

Assessment methods
Assessment % of final mark Length
Coursework 100% 3000 words

Students will prepare a 3,000-word essay (LO4) on a topic agreed with the tutor (LO1, 3). The paper will be expected to draw critically on relevant secondary sources in exploring a historiographical debate or a new area of historical inquiry (LO2), and, if appropriate, will also involve scholarly analysis of primary sources.

 

Selected reading

  • Manu Bhagavan, India and the Quest for One World: The Peacemakers (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • Ryan Irwin, Gordian Knot: Apartheid and the Unmaking of the Liberal World Order (Oxford: OUP, 2012)
  • G.H. Jansen, Afro-Asia and Non-Alignment (London: Faber and Faber, 1966)
  • Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (Oxford: OUP, 2015)
  • Mark Mazower, Governing the World: The History of an Idea (New York: Penguin, 2012)
  • Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009)
  • Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (New York: New Press, 2007)
  • Akira Iriye, Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002)
  • Glenda Sluga, Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013)

 

 

 

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