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History: Europe


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.


The course describes and analyses the main trends of political, economic, social and cultural developments in Europe in the 20th century. The focus is on the post-war period, allowing forward reflection and a link to the economics, politics and society of the second year.
1. The Age of Nationalism, 1850-1914
2. The West and the World, 1815-1914
3. World War I
4. The Interwar Years, 1919-1939
5. Soviet Communism and Italian Fascism before 1940
6. The Rise of the Nazis and WW II
7. Cold War Conflict and the rise of the European Union, 1945 – c.1965
8. Decolonization: Adjusting to a Diminished World Role
9. The Soviet Bloc, 1945-1985
10. Challenging the Postwar Order, c. 1960-c. 1975
11. Western Europe since c. 1975
12. The Revolutions of 1989 and After

Course objectives

Students acquire thorough knowledge of twentieth century European history from a ‘transnational’ perspective, understanding the relationship between political, economic and social developments.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week; bi-weekly tutorials. Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover both issues discussed in the readings, and issues outside of the readings.

Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform the tutor of the course in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Atending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks: 24 hrs

  • Atending attending tutorials 2 hours per two weeks: 12 hrs

  • Assessment hours (midterms and final exam): 4 hrs

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 64 hrs

  • Time for completing assignments, preparation classes and exams: 36 hrs

Assessment method


Midterm Exam:

  • Written examination with short open questions

  • Written examination with essay questions

Final exam:

  • Written examination with short open questions

  • Written examination with essay questions


Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40 %

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
To pass the course, the average of mid- and end term exams (70%) has to be 5.5 at least.


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis

Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

John P. McKay, Clare Haru Crowston, Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, Joe Perry, A History of Western Society, Volume 2: From the Age of Exploration to the Present, Eleventh edition (2014). ISBN-10: 1-4576-4219-0; ISBN-13: 978-1-4576-4219-7
Relevant Chapters should be studied before each lecture and tutorial. A precise list of reading each week can be found on the Blackboard site.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. J. Augusteijn