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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2019/2020

World History

Area of studies: Foreign Regional Studies
When: 1 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Instructors: Nikolay G. Scherbakov
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus


The course “Global History” is aimed for checking and refreshing knowledge of basic trends characteristic for the period of New and Modern History. Thus the emphasis is made to trace not facts and figures for different periods but to single out developments which had international scale and shaped real world or global history. Beginning from social, industrial and scientific revolutions of the period XVII-XIX cc the analyses will try to bring more real people to the historical scene. It will assist at the final stage when the study of the main developments in the XX century will try to confirm that the main historical engine is still human creature. Such understanding of what is History can enable students to master more comprehensive courses.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course is aimed to prepare students for a better understanding of regional history and the place of the countries they are studying within the system of international relations and modern economic relations. The course implies better competence in texts analysis as the students will have to study rather contrasting evaluations by the authors belonging to different scientific schools and will use numerous documents and materials which comprise different research traditions.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students should be familiar with Geography, demography, and biography as ”World-systems*” main components
  • Students gain a working knowledge of the history of the modern and contemporary periods. This knowledge will serve both as a foundation for further study and as a tool for more effectively understanding today's world.
  • Students learn to think critically and comparatively about historical events in the modern world. They are able to understand and identify historical themes, causes, and effects.
  • Students are able to use their knowledge and critical thinking abilities to intelligently choose and evaluate journalism published works, and scholarly articles on topics related to the “Global History” course
  • Students acquire a perspective on history and an understanding of the factors that shape human activity
  • Students display knowledge about the origins and nature of contemporary issues and develop a foundation for a future comparative understanding
  • Students think and speak critically about primary and secondary historical sources by examining diverse interpretations of past events and ideas in their historical contexts
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • An Introduction to “facts and figures”
    Why History is worth studying, what are the limits of the world “History”, what language to choose for a better understanding of History.
  • The ascendancy of European countries in XVII- first half of XVIII cc. and the creation of colonial empires.
    Students get ideas about the process of the formation of the main colonial empires. the advantages of owning overseas territories. Work with a map and chronological tables.
  • Great Geographical Discoveries (China and the West)
    Learn information about the main stages of the "discovery of the world" and the difference in approaches to open areas from China and Western European countries. Compilation of a comparative table of Chinese and Western European achievements in the process of discovery and development of overseas territories.
  • From Absolute monarchy to Parliamentary democracy (Great Britain and France)
    The idea of the main differences between the absolutist system and parliamentarism on the example of regional geographic materials. Discussion of the differences between the two systems on the example of two states.
  • Industrial Revolution – transfer to Capitalism
    Basic concepts: industrial revolution, private property, capital, accumulation. The characteristics of the countries at the stage of formation of capitalist relations.
  • Great Mutiny as the result of European expansion
    Analysis of the stages of colonial development of the occupied territories and highlight the goals and results of anti-colonial actions. Compiling a table of the main results of the colonial management of British East India Company
  • Partition of the World (end of XIX century)
    The idea of the outcome of the colonial division of the world. Work with a map of colonial conquests and the division of colonial possessions by the end of the 19th century.
  • "Fin de siecle": clash of ideas, clash of states, the birth of modernity
    Understanding of the main results of the development of the "World-system" by the beginning of the 20th century and the emergence of new ideas about the world and the goals of its development. Discussion of the transformation of familiar historical concepts that were used until the end of the 19th century.
  • Unprecedented shaping of the post-war world in the "interbellum” period Results of WW I as a source for further international tensions. Creation of new political ideologies and new "centers of force"
    An idea of the changes that occurred under the influence of the First World War and the emergence of a new world system. Work with a map of the results of the First World War.
  • The problem of self-determination of small nations resulting from WW I (Middle East variant)
    Post-war principles of international law for the analysis of the formation of statehood in the region of the Middle East. Compilation of a chronological in the region of the Middle East.
  • Development of Soviet Russia under “Sanitarny Cordon” (Politics and Economics)
    An idea of the main stages of the post-revolutionary development of the Russian state in conditions of political and economic isolation. Compilation of a comparative table of state entire in the territory of the former Russian Empire before the advent of the USSR.
  • Nazism in 1933-1939: Ideology and Practice
    The reason and stages of the transformation of Germany after the National Socialist German Workers' Party came to power and until the outbreak of World War II. Analysis of the article by Umberto Eco "14 signs of fascism"
  • "Long way to new war starts with small wars" Regional wars and conflicts as an introduction to WW II.
    An idea of nature and the main results of regional wars that preceded the outbreak of World War II. Compilation of a chronological table of regional wars and conflicts in the 1930s
  • Reshaping the World after WW II (Potsdam and Nurnberg)
    Work with documents (decisions of international summits and international legal decisions) that summed up the Second World War. Work with a world map formed based on the Second World War.
  • New menaces and old leaders, new leaders and old menaces The roots and inspirations for Cold War. Formation of its rules, traditions, and geography in 1945-1962.
    Understanding of the main stages of the development of the Cold War until 1962. Compilation of a chronological table of the main conflicts of the initial stage of the Cold War until 1962.
  • New China (1949-1969)
    Basic ideas about the outcome of the Civil War in China and the main problems of the development of new statehood until 1969. Drawing up a terminology table based on the results of the formation of statehood in China over the first 20 years of its development.
  • The Bandung generation - the start of new kingdoms. Waves of liberation in the Third World countries in the 1950-1960s, UN scenarios and the legacy of Colonial Age.
    understanding of the transformation of the colonial world after the Second World War, its leaders, and main development scenarios. - Work with the map of the formation of new states in the decolonization process
  • Hotbeds of Cold War Ideological and technological factors in spreading of Cold War in 1962-1975
    basic concepts that arise during the development of the Cold War and the arms race, the positions of the warring parties. - Creation of a terminological table of new concepts during the development of the arms race in the period 1962-1975
  • Proxy wars (Angola and Vietnam)
    an idea of the similarities and differences of regional conflicts on the example of the anti-colonial war in Angola and the national liberation war of the Vietnamese people for the unification of their country. - Compilation of a chronological table of the main operations and their participants during the development of regional conflicts in Angola and Vietnam
  • The Collectivist Seventies Dollar, oil and armaments challenges to be resolved; the start of North-South Dialogue.
    basic ideas about the development of financial and raw material contradictions and the development of the arms race, their impact on the relations of developed and developing states. - Discussion (identification) of the causes and results of developmental delays on the example of one of the developing countries in the period 1970
  • Power and Mass-media in the West
    understanding of the place and role of media in leading Western countries adopt the principles of analysis of media materials as a historical source.   - Discussion of the material of the current periodical (optional) using the acquired analysis skills
  • Mass culture an youth subculture
    an idea of the main causes and trends in the development of mass culture and youth subcultures in 1960-1980. - Compilation of a chronological table of the main achievements in the development of mass culture in the period 1960-1980
  • Scientific progress versus сhaos. Ambitions of leading industrial states in the age of post-industrial revolution. Political, technological, ecological challenges in the late1970-1980.
    basic ideas about the results of scientific and technological development and their negative consequences in leading industrial countries in 1970-1980. - Compilation of a table of basic concepts characterizing the development of scientific and technological progress in the era of the post-industrial revolution.
  • Protest Movement in the countries of East Europe (Poland in 1980-81, “Solidarity”)
    understanding of the causes, forms, and results of socio-economic and political confrontation in Eastern Europe in 1980 on the example of Poland. - Compilation of a chronological table of the main results of the activities of the trade union/movement "Solidarity" in 1980
  • New actors of international relations. Governmental, non-governmental, marginal and non-material participants of the international relations* space in the 1980-1990th
    an idea of the causes and features of the actions of new participants in the system of international relations in the last twenty years of the 20th century. - Analysis of program/charter documents of one of the new participants in the system of international relations
  • The results of the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the XX-th century" Main changes within the "Old Order" after the completion of the Cold War.
    an idea of the results of the transformation of the countries of the Eastern Bloc by the end of the 20th century and the changes in the international arena that have occurred under the influence of the end of the Cold War. - Work with a map and chronological tables
  • Completion of Cold War – consequences for the Third World (South Africa)
    ideas about the ways and forms of the impact of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc on the fate of the Third World on the example of events in the South of the African continent at the end of the 20th century. - Compilation of a chronological table of changes in South Africa at the end of 1980 and up to the elections in 1994
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking midterm test
  • non-blocking final exam
  • non-blocking class participation
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.4 * class participation + 0.4 * final exam + 0.2 * midterm test


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Goucher, C. L., & Walton, L. A. (2013). World History : Journeys From Past to Present (Vol. 2nd ed., combined ed). New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=549129
  • Vanhaute, E. (2013). World History : An Introduction. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=615520

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Chaliand, G. (2014). A Global History of War : From Assyria to the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=845621
  • Stearns, P. N. (2011). World History: The Basics. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=345316