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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: An uncertain world: the West since the 1970s (PGHC11397)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course gives students the opportunity to examine some of the most
important political, economic and cultural events of the past four
decades. It covers a range of issues, from the after-effects of
decolonisation and the rise of neo-liberalism, to the politics of
humanitarian intervention and the War on Terror. The main aim is to
offer a nuanced and historical perspective on questions and themes
that remain at the heart of contemporary political debate in "the West" (and beyond). At the same time, the course will be an introduction to original methodological and historiographical frameworks for understanding the recent past, many of which draw on research conducted in political and intellectual history, the social sciences, philosophy and economics.
Course description Class topics may include the following:
The impact of decolonisation and the Cold War; the development of the European project and European integration; neo-liberalism in the US and Western Europe; the end of the Cold War, the "end of history" and neo-conservatism; the politics of human rights and humanitarian interventions; the Balkan conflict; European enlargement; globalisation and anti-globalisation; 9/11 and the War on Terrors; immigration policy in Europe and the US; the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One assessed presentation, worth 10% of the final mark; one 500-word essay plan, due in Week 6, worth 10% of the final mark; one 4,000-word essay, worth 80% of the mark.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
After completing the course, students will be able to:
- demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the most important issues and themes connected to global politics, economic trends and political thought in North America and Western Europe since the 1970s;
- independently identify and pursue research topics in this period of history;
- exhibit an understanding for different conceptual approaches for the study of history;
- analyse and contextualise primary source material;
- arrive at independent, well-argued, well-documented and properly referenced conclusions in their coursework essay;
- demonstrate their ability to reflect on the reading & research they have undertaken and provide feedback for their peers.
Reading List
Suggested introductory readings:
- Tony Judt, Postwar (2005)
- Daniel Rodgers, Age of Fracture (2011)
- Luc Boltanski & Ève Chiapello, The New Spirit of Capitalism (2005)
- Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010)
- Pierre Rosanvallon, Counter-Democracy: Politics in an Age of Distrust (2008)
- John Gillingham, European Integration 1950-2003: superstate or new market economy? (2005)
- David Priestland, Merchant, Soldier, Sage: A New History of Power (2012)
- Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (2000)
- David Harvey, A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism (2005)
- Justin Vaisse, Neo-conservatism: the biography of a movement (2010)
- David Runciman, The Politics of Good Intentions: History, Fear and Hypocrisy in the New World Order (2010)
- Gerard Dumenil & Dominique Levy, The Crisis of Neoliberalism (2013)
- Etienne Balibar, We, the People? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (2003)
- Robert M. Collins, Transforming America: Politics and Culture in the Reagan Years (2007)
- Gil Troy, Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s (2005)
- Sean Wilentz, The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974¿2008 (2008)
- Kenneth S. Baer, Reinventing Democrats: The Politics of Liberalism from Reagan to Clinton (2000)
- Merle and Earle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans (2002)
- Richard Jensen, "The Last Party System: The Decay of Consensus, 1932-1980," American Historical Review (1994)
- Byron Shafer and William Claggett, The Two Majorities: The Issue Context of Modern American Politics (1995)
- Robert Hughes, Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America (1993)
- Clara E. Rodriguez, Changing Race: Latinos, the Census, and the History of Ethnicity in the United States (2000)
- Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (1992)
- Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations (1993) and Who We Are? The Challenges to American National Identity (2004)
- Richard Vinen, Thatcher's Britain: The Politics and Social Upheaval of the 1980s (2010)
- Gilles Kepel, The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West (2006)
- Olivier Roy, Globalised Islam: the search for a new ummah (2004)
· Stanley Hoffmann (ed.), The ethics and politics of humanitarian intervention (1994)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study of the past gives students a unique understanding of the present that will enable them to succeed in a broad range of careers. The transferable skills gained from this course include:
- understanding of complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past
- ability to analyse the origins and development of current political and historiographical questions
- a command of bibliographical and library- and/or IT-based online and offline research skills
- a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- ability to question and problematize evidence; considering the relationship between evidence and interpretation
- understanding ethical dimensions of research and their relevance for human relationships today
- ability to marshal arguments lucidly, coherently and concisely, both orally and in writing
- ability to deliver a paper or a presentation in front of peer audiences
- ability to design and execute pieces of written work and to present them suitably, as evidenced by the final assessment essay of 4,000 words
KeywordsUncertain World 1970s
Course organiserDr Emile Chabal
Tel: (0131 6)50 4302
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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