HIST 311: International Relations 1890 - 1951

Thursday, December 6, 2018

HIST 311 International Relations (1890 - 1951)

Winter 2019

Thursdays 2:30 - 5:20

DWE 1515

HIST 311 course syllabus (pdf)

The course surveys the evolution of international relations from the European fin-de-siècle, 1890s, through WWI and WWII, to the dawn of the Cold War and the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Twelve transformative historical events act as an organizing framework to understand the following dynamics: competition for global hegemony between colonial empires and the newly rising powers, the struggle for a rule-based international order, the rise of Cold War Superpowers, and the emergence of new actors in global diplomacy, namely, multinationals as global corporate actors, anti-colonial movements and non-governmental actors (NGOs). At the core of the survey lies an appraisal of how these events and the interaction between the states and the emerging NGOs (from the anti-slavery, suffragette, and peace activists to the international labour, agrarian and student movements) caused such tectonic shifts in classic diplomacy whose longue durée impact is still felt today.

Students grasp a more sensory and “up-close” understanding of the said events by viewing, and critically engaging with, an array of audio-visual primary sources, i.e., historical film rails, TV and radio broadcasts, and telegram and telex communiqués, and examine the precursory role of modern mass electric media and telecommunication technologies in creating the global village, complicating international diplomacy, and sometimes, empowering the nascent global civil society.