Contemporary History II - LM (2015/2016)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Sara Lorenzini
Sara Lorenzini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre sede Trento dal Feb 15, 2016 al May 31, 2016.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

Extend students knowledge of the history of European Integration. At the end of the course, students are expected to be familiar with the institutions of the European Union and to understand and discuss the weaknesses of European construction. They are expected to be able to produce a reasearch paper based on scientific literature, archival documents and oral history interviews on specific issues of the history of European integration.



Some knowledge of the history of the second half of the 20th century is highly recommended.


Title: History of European Integration. Advanced Course. The course will specifically focus on Europe and the idea of crisis, i.e. on how the institutional construction of Europe has been shaped as a response to political and economic crisis. It will touch the following topics: Ideas of Europe and European plans as a response to the European crisis, 1945-1950. The European Coal and Steel Community and the political predicament of organising a common defence. Europe in the shadow of De Gaulle: crisis or stop and go? A United Europe as a way to cope with the crisis of colonial Empires? Decolonisation and enlargement in the 1960s. Europe in the 1970s: facing multiple crises. Economic crisis: global finance, oil. Doomsday or the environmental crisis. Political crisis: a derailed transatlantic relationship. The role of Europe in a changing world: a new model of North-South relations? European Parliament: democratic deficit as a critical issue. The End of the Cold War: turning crisis into opportunity (enlargement). Building the cage? Maastricht and the road towards the Euro. Special focus will be on the 1970s and the birth of a European "foreign policy".

Teaching Methods

The course will be articulated into two parts. A first part will consist of lectures. Students are expected to actively participate in a few specific sessions devoted to the discussion of assigned readings, either scholarly articles or documents. A second part will focus on the research papers. Students will be guided, through one-to-one tutorials, to the writing of a research paper. The draft of the research paper will be circulated in class, presented by the student and discussed within the group.


M. Gilbert, European Integration. A Concise History, Rowman and Littelfield 2012. Reading list available in DOL

More Information

Jean Monnet Module. A Group of 10-12 students will be selected for a short (3-days) research scholarship at the Historical Archives of the European Union (Florence). A tutor will be supporting archival research. Archival materials will be the documentary basis of the final paper which will then be discussed in class. A public workshop will be organised for presenting the results. The best papers will be published in the web page of the course. Syllabus with readings available in DOL at the beginning of the semester. The course will be held in Italian and in English.

Assessment methods and criteria

Verification of learning

20% participation and oral presentation in class; 80% research paper (5000 words).