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

Postgraduate Course: The School of Statecraft: History, Leadership, and Policymaking (online) (PGHC11525)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryJohn Robert Seeley told his students that history is 'the school of statesmanship'. This course will examine the possibilities and limitations of employing history as a toolkit to develop, and reflect on, practical skills for the conduct of statecraft. It will use an interdisciplinary approach and draw upon a large and diverse body of writings composed from antiquity to the present.
Course description This course uses history as a lens to examine the conduct of leadership and statecraft. John Robert Seeley told his students that history is 'the school of statesmanship'. R.G. Collingwood wrote that historical insight enables us to see 'the tiger in the grass'. And Thucydides intended his history to be a possession 'for all time'. Reflecting seriously upon historical examples offers many profound insights into the dilemmas involved in political decision-making. Students will range widely, examining the impressive possibilities and acute limitations of 'the lessons of history'; explore a set of important case studies of modern statecraft (principally in the United States and Great Britain); and ponder the practical skills involved in successful leadership.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  16
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Online Activities 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) Coursework:
One 4,000-word essay (80% of the overall grade)
Two discussion forum posts per week (20% of the overall grade)
Feedback Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of History: essay-writing, independent reading, and group discussion in various online forms.
  2. show detailed knowledge of themes related to history and statecraft.
  3. plan and execute a substantial written analysis of concepts related to the interaction between history and statecraft.
  4. evaluate and apply recent critical debates in the study of statecraft.
  5. demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on a variety of critical and methodological approaches to the way in which statecraft is conceptualised and its linkages to history are discussed.
Reading List
1. Thucydides, Peloponnesian War.
2. N. Machiavelli, The Prince.
3. R. Crowcroft, 'The tiger in the grass: the case for applied history', History Today (2020).
4. M. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, The Truman Administration and the Cold War (1993).
5. R. Bowie and R. Immerman, Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy (1998).
6. R. Crowcroft, The End is Nigh: British Politics, Power, and the Road to the Second World War (2019).
7. D. Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department (1969).
8. P. Bobbitt, The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History (2002).
9. W. Murray (ed.), Successful Strategies (2014).
10. John Bew, Realpolitik: A History (2016).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills in research and analysis
Oral communication skills, through live seminar participation
Written communication skills, through the writing of a 4,000-word essay and weekly discussion forum posts
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Robert Crowcroft
Tel: (0131 6)50 3764
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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