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A Successful Democracy: The History of the Federal Republic of Germany

Vak
2019-2020

Admission requirements

History students should have successfully completed their propaedeutic exam and both second-year BA-seminars, one of which in Algemene Geschiedenis. By choosing this seminar, students also choose Algemene Geschiedenis as their BA graduation specialisation.

Description

Emerging a murderous dictatorship that left Germany and much of Europe ruined, the Federal Republic of Germany has developed into an affluent democracy. We will analyse political, social and cultural turning points in the history of (West) Germany since the World War II to understand how a country whose population initially retained positive memories of the Third Reich gradually embraced a liberal order amid growing prosperity and pervasive social change. At the same time, the course will pay attention to the division of Germany between 1949 and 1989, whose multifarious consequences reverberate to this day.

The course will be taught in a combination of English and Dutch. Students will be able to give presentations and write their assignments in either English or Dutch (or German).
Course sessions will include (translated) primary sources. The course will be assessed by participation, a presentation, as well as a problem-oriented, source-based paper.

Course objectives

General learning objectives

The student can:

  • 1) devise and conduct research of limited scope, including:
    a. identifying relevant literature and select and order them according to a defined principle;
    b. organising and using relatively large amounts of information;
    c. an analysis of a scholarly debate;
    d. placing the research within the context of a scholarly debate.

  • 2) write a problem solving essay and give an oral presentation after the format defined in the first year Themacolleges, including;
    a. using a realistic schedule of work;
    b. formulating a research question and subquestions;
    c. formulating a well-argued conclusion;
    d. giving and receiving feedback;
    e. responding to instructions of the lecturer.

  • 3) reflect on the primary sources on which the literature is based;

  • 4) select and use primary sources for their own research;

  • 5) analyse sources, place and interpret them in a historical context;

  • 6) participate in class discussions.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

  • 7) The student has knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically in the specialisation General History: of the place of European history from 1500 in a worldwide perspective; with a focus on the development and role of political institutions;

  • 8) Knowledge and insight in the main concepts, the research methods and techniques of the specialisation, more specifically in the specialisation General History: of the study of primary sources and the context specificity of nationally defined histories;

Learning objectives, pertaining to this specific seminar

The student:

  • 9) will have an overview of the history of the Federal Republic, including its social, cultural and political dimensions;

  • 10) will display an awareness of leading historiographical issues regarding the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA History website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar (compulsory attendance)

This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is not able to attend, he is required to notify the teacher beforehand. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If specific restrictions apply to a particular course, the teacher will notify the students at the beginning of the semester. If a student does not comply with the aforementioned requirements, he will be excluded from the seminar.

Course load

Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 uur.

  • attending classes: 13 x 2 hours = 26 hours

  • study of required literature: 65 hours

  • assignments : preparation for presentation with hand-out: 30

  • writing paper (including studying literature, sources, and a two-page preliminary outline): 159 hours

Assessment method

Assessment

  • Written paper (6000-7000 words, based on problem-oriented research using primary sources, excluding front page, table of contents, footnotes and bibliography)
    measured learning objectives: 1-5, 8-10

  • Oral presentation
    measured learning objectives: 3-5, 9

  • Participation
    measured learning objectives: 6, 7, 8-10

  • Submission of paper outline of 2 pages after mid-term exam week
    measured learning objectives: 1, 3, 4, 8-10

Weighing

  • Written paper: 70%

  • Oral presentation: 10%

  • Particiation: 20 %

  • Assignment 1: needs to be submitted. Its quality will be reflected in the mark of the final paper.

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficient.

Deadlines

Assignments and written papers should be handed in within the deadline as provided in the relevant course outline on Blackboard.

Resit

The written paper can be revised, when marked insufficient. Revision should be carried out within the deadline as provided in the relevant course outline on Blackboard. A revised paper will receive a pass mark if of sufficient quality.

Inspection and feedback

How and when the inspection and feedback will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the assessment results at the latest.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for:

  • publication course outline

  • communication of deadlines

Reading list

Please buy this textbook:

  • Peter C. Caldwell and Karrin Hansen, Germany Since 1945. Politics, Culture and Society (2018)

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Bernhard Rieger

Remarks

The course will be taught in a combination of English and Dutch. Students will be able to give presentations and write their assignments in either English or Dutch (or German).

Course sessions will include (translated) primary sources.