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War and Peace in the 20th Century

duration Duration:

unit code Unit Code: HIS30007

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About this unit

This unit provides students with an understanding of the evolution of global politics since World War II and the background to contemporary issues in global politics. It focuses on conflict and conflict resolution during and after the Cold War, with particular attention paid to the global role of the US and terrorism. It also aims to develop student skills in library and online research, working both individually and in groups, as well as in evidence-based assessment of theories of global politics.


This unit of study surveys global politics since 1945 to provide students with the background to contemporary issues and conflicts. It requires them to evaluate conflicting claims against empirical evidence.


  • Creating “One World”: The US plans the post-World War II world
  • One World divided: Cold War origins in retrospect
  • The collapse of the European empires and the emergence of the “Third World”
  • The course of the Cold War
  • US global power after the Cold War
  • The expansion of the global system: The turbulent transitions of post-communist countries
  • Asia’s Industrial Revolution and the changing balance of world power
  • Industry, energy and imperialism: The global politics of oil
  • The Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • On a Mission from God: 9/11 and “war on terrorism”

This unit is found in Bachelor of Social Science With a Major in Security and International Relations.

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