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How the West was Made: Transformations in Global Politics


There are no classes currently available for registration.


This is a credit bearing course but can also be taken as a non-credit bearing course.

Discover the difference between our credit bearing and non-credit bearing courses.

What do we mean when we talk about ‘the West’ today? How has a geographical concept acquired socio-economic and political power, and what are the consequences of this for contemporary world politics?

This short course, How the West was Made: Transformations in Global Politics, addresses these and related questions by turning to global transformations - from wars and revolutions to ideologies and mass movements - that have shaped modern politics.

The course will introduce you to different theories and concepts used in historical and political sociology when explaining global phenomena such as nationalism, imperialism, racial and ethnic oppression, dictatorships, militarism, state formation or capitalist development. It will root this discussion within specific spatio-temporal contexts, offering you an historical awareness of the political transformations within and across states.

We plan to cover the following content:

  • Before European Hegemony: travel, trade and civilisation
  • The Atlantic Crucible I (1450-1650): exploration, conquest, and sovereignty
  • The Atlantic Crucible II (1688-1805): revolution, war and emancipation
  • The Great Divergence: industry and empire
  • What is the West, and when was it made?: classes, masses and nations
  • The Rebellious Century: reform and revolution across nineteenth-century Asia, Africa and Latin America
  • The First New Nation: America between exceptionalism and universalism
  • The Age of Empire: capitalism, imperialism, war
  • The Age of Extremes: fascism, communism and the inter-war crisis
  • The Long Peace: the Cold War as global conflict

Assessment is via a 1500-word essay (90%) and seminar attendance (10%).

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as a part of:

15 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.