About the course
The course provides an overview of central events and trends in global history since the Second World War, including theoretical frameworks that deepen understanding. Source criticism and research methods are discussed throughout. The course is structured around study of the following topics:
1: Globalization and Inequality
What do we mean by globalization, and when did it begin? How has power and wealth been distributed across the globe and how has globalization affected issues of inequality? Why do some countries develop and stay rich while others stay poor and hardly develop? The course combines a historical approach and overview of central political-economic and international relations theories. Through this perspective we take up discussion of post-war decolonization, industrialization and de-industrialization around the world, and equality between and within countries up to the present.
2: The Global Cold War, 1945-1991
What was the cold war? Why did it emerge, how and where did it develop, and why did it end? The relation between the United States and the Soviet Union is analyzed, both as a competition between different economic and political systems, as well as a competition for power and influence in “the third world” – Asia, Africa and Latin America. In the context of the global cold war, we will also look at reactions and attempts to find ‘third ways’, including the non-aligned movement, national development plans that were ‘neither communist nor capitalist’, and the failed New International Economic Order (NIEO).
What is a global and regional hegemon and what are the theoretical and practical implications of hegemony? We will consider the historical effects of the global hegemony of the United States in the post-war period and the recent and on-going rise of China, as well as regional powers – including Germany in the European Union and Russia in the post-Soviet space.
4: Integration process
In the post-1945 years there were important attempts at softening the competition between nation-states that characterized the first half of the twentieth century. What were the causes of this reconciliation process that took place especially between France and West Germany? Which countries took part in this integration process, and why? Could populism lead to the collapse of the EU as we know it, or will the union be strengthened?
While we concentrate on European integration, we will also take a brief look at other integration processes including NAFTA, Mercosur, ASEAN, the African Union and, most recently, China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.
Knowledge. Upon completion of the course the student will be well-acquainted with:
- Central events, processes, and trends in global history from 1945 until today.
- Major theories and theoretical frameworks for approaching contemporary global history.
- Core issues in historical and social science methodology and source criticism.
Skills. Upon completion of the course the student can:
- Write short, informed academic papers using appropriate sources and theoretical frameworks to make well-formulated arguments.
- Critically evaluate both primary and secondary sources, including academic literature.
General competence. Upon completion of the course the student can:
- Speak and write knowledgeably about contemporary and recent events
- Employing theories and frameworks from global history and international relations to analyze and understand contemporary world history and politics.
- Critically obtain and use information from historical sources.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, seminars, and short analytical papers.
The course demands that the students attend lectures, stay up-to-date with readings, and participate in seminars where the literature is discussed.
Mandatory requirements in order to take the exam
Three 900-word analytical essays. These short papers will thoroughly discuss the readings for one of the previous weeks. Given the length of the papers, brevity and concision are a must. Students will be asked to identify the major arguments and themes of the readings of the particular week, relate them to each other, and locate them within the arc of the course as a whole up to that point. Essays may be written in English or Norwegian.
The course ends with a written exam, 5 hours, no support material is permitted. It can be written in English or Norwegian.
Final grades will be based the student’s entire portfolio of work in the course: final exam (40%) and analytical essays (20% each).
To view the curriculum for INT1007 Global history 1945 - today, please search here. Do notice that the curriculum might not be ready until a few weeks prior to the official semester start.