This Course in Contemporary History aims to provide some of the keys necessary to understand the present, from a historical perspective.
Usually, the textbooks of contemporary history start from the two revolutions, the industrial and the French ones, happened between the end of eighteenth century and the begionnig of the nineteenth one, and come up to today. Even if at the examinations students will have to demonstrate a good knowledge of the major events of the whole Twentieth century, and of some of the Nineteenth century, teaching will focus on the second half of the Twentieth century and on the early twenty-five years of our new century – in a course lasting only a few weeks it is impossible to follow in detail everything.
Furthermore, for students, the 'truly' contemporary history seems to be that of the Cold War (between 1945 and 1991) and of the following twenty-five years. Therefore the course will examine ‘their’ contemporary age, and from it lessons will look also to the previous periods.
The course introduces the student to the knowledge of world/global history from 1945 up to the present. The knowledge of some of the major issues of this history will go with the presentation of some of the major historiographic debates on these topics. At the end of the course the student will have met issues, texts and authors among the greatest of the last decades.
The program is intended, at the end of the course, to let the student demonstrate good knowledge of the major events of the Twentieth century, and some knowledge of the principal ones of Nineteenth century. The lessons will focus on the second half of the Twentieth century and on the following, most recent twenty-five yars.
Then, lessons aim at examining many aspects of world/gloabl history since 1945, thus encompassing the half-century of the Cold War (bipolarism) and the postbipolar twenty-five years.
Lessons could be about
1. Introduction: crucial chronologies
2. The golden age, developing economies, economies in transition
3. Slowing down of growth and multiplying inequalities
4. The internationalization of trade, finance and production
5. The erosion of environment
6. Two inverse paths: water and energies
7. Demographic changes
8. Demographic statistics
9. National paths to democracy
10. National paths to communism
11. National paths to populism (hybrid regimes)
12. Changes in political participation
13. National paths to Welfare State
14. International institutions
15. Conventional wars
16. Irregular wars and terrorism
17. Changing societies: social inequalities
18. Changing societies: gender roles
19. Changing societies: metropolis and countryside
20. Changing societies: families
21. A world of young (and older) people
22. The age of women
23. The developments of science
24. The developments of technology
25. The IT developments
26. The developments of arts
27. Secularization, religion, transformations of religious practices. Conclusions