MA Option

Designed and taught by Jessica Reinisch in Spring 2014
Co-taught by Ana Antic, Johanna Conterio, Francesca Piana and Dora Vargha in Spring 2015

In this course we explore ideas and forms of ‘internationalism’, international order and supra-national government, in the broader context of war, revolution, nationalism and ethnic conflict in twentieth-century Europe. Interwar and post-war Europe saw a series of challenges to state sovereignty and the inauguration of a number of international and non-governmental organisations, but how novel and how important were they really?

Drawing upon a range of primary and secondary texts we will examine some of the international organisations and movements that developed in the aftermath of the First World War and evaluate their successes, limitations and struggles. We will then reflect upon the consequences of the subsequent rise of nationalism, the new waves of ethnic and genocidal conflict and the collapse of the international order, and dissect the solutions for international peace and stability contained in the new post-war settlement of the 1940s.

Finally, we will analyse the extent to which earlier precedents shaped the post-1945 era of international organisations in Europe and Europe’s place in the world. Throughout the course we will debate the role and relevance of internationalism in modern European history and the benefits and drawbacks of writing international or transnational, rather than national, history.