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

Postgraduate Course: Civil Wars in Twentieth Century Europe (PGHC11402)

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 examines initial confrontations in Europe from the decade before the First World War to the fallout of the breakup of the Soviet Union. The civil wars of this era will be examined in broadly comparative perspective with earlier internal conflicts, paying particular attention to the factors that made Europe in the last century a time of notably violent domestic contests.
Course description During the twentieth-century, Europe witnessed a new relationship between violence, culture, and politics. In this period, the continent beheld an extraordinary entanglement of inter-state wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions, civil wars and genocides. The course will examine the confusing concept of 'European civil war', the impact of the world wars, the relation between revolution and civil war and a selection of the individual cases of civil war, with special attention to Ireland, Russia, Spain and Yugoslavia. The major political, ideological and social influences will be treated, with a special focus on violence against civilians, and the relationships between the experiences, representations and memories of civil war, and the shaping of political, social, religious, cultural, gender and other identities in Europe.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in seminars and written work a detailed and critical command of the relevant body of knowledge concerning aspects of European history in the twentieth century
  2. Demonstrate in the final essay an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning civil war(s) in Europe in the twentieth century, relevant primary source materials concerning, and conceptual discussions about European history in this period
  3. Demonstrate in the final essay, an ability to understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate in seminar discussions and the final essay originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Laia Balcells, 'Rivalry and Revenge: Violence against Civilians in Conventional Civil Wars', International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 54, no. 2 (June 2010), pp. 291-313

Volker R. Berghahn, Europe in the Era of Two World Wars: From Militarism and Genocide to Civil Society, 1900-1950 (2005)

Robert Gerwarth & John Horne, 'Vectors of Violence: Paramilitarism in Europe after the Great War, 1917-1923', Journal of Modern History, Vol. 83, no. 3 (September 2011), pp. 489-512

Robert Gellately, Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: the Age of Social Catastrophe (2009)

Stathis N. Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil War (2006)

Stathis N. Kalyvas, 'International System and Technologies of Rebellion: How the End of the Cold War Shaped Internal Conflict', American Political Science Review, Vol. 104, no. 3 (August 2010), pp. 415-429

Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (2000)
Philip B. Minehan, Civil War and World War in Europe: Spain, Yugoslavia and Greece, 1936-1949 (2006)

Stanley G. Payne, Civil Wars in Europe, 1905-1949 (2009)

Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010)

Zeynep Taydas, Jason Enia & Patrick James, 'Why do civil wars occur? Another look at the theoretical dichotomy of opportunity versus grievance', Review of International Studies, Vol. 37, no. 5 (December 2011), pp. 2627-2650
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Communicating ideas and arguments effectively
- Employing various rhetorical strategies for justifying arguments
- Contextualising various complex historical phenomenon
- Critical thinking and problem solving
KeywordsCivil War 20thC Europe
Course organiserMr David Kaufman
Tel: (0131 6)51 3857
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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