Contemporary History II - LM (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Sara Lorenzini
Sara Lorenzini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre - sede Trento dal Sep 18, 2017 al Dec 22, 2017.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course is structured as a research seminar. Its main objective is to train students for historical research on the topics of the history of European Integration. Thus it will provide
1) a general knowledge of the history of European integration and the complex interplay of national, European and international factors in shaping European integration, with a major focus on the external relations of the EEC/EU.
2) the skill to form consistent an historically significant arguments, and develop a research strategy for problem-solving
3) the skills to do archival research and interpret documents and primary sources
4)the skills to write a research paper and to discuss it in an academic environment


fluency in English; basic knowledge of modern history dynamics (post-1945); reading knowledge of French constitutes an advantage

The course will be structured in 3 parts. The first part will focus on the main events and turning points in the history of European integration, on the main historiographical interpretations, on specific case studies relating the role of Europe during the crisis of the 1970s; the development of its international role and the democratic deficit in historical perspective. A special focus will be on EC/EU relations with the Global South. Lectures will alternate with seminars and class discussions.
The second part includes a research seminar in the EU archives. One introductory lecture of the Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union will introduce students to the sources available (including online sources). About 12 students will be selected on the basis of a research proposal for a research scholarship in the Archive in Florence. Others will be helped on their research on online documents.
The third part will be based on the discussion of students’ research papers. It will be structured as a graduate conference, and all students will be required to actively participate and discuss each other’s papers.

Teaching Methods
The course includes:
Lectures, followed by a class discussion on weekly assigned readings.
Archival research (if selected) or research on archival materials available online (in agreement with the supervisor)
Preparation of a research paper
Presentation and discussion of students’ papers.
Regular attendance is essential; equally so reading one chapter each class in order to take part in class discussion.
Mark Gilbert, European Integration: A Concise History, Rowman and Littlefield 2012
Véronique Dimier, The Invention of a European Development Aid Bureaucracy, Palgrave, 2014

Assessment methods and criteria

Verification of Learning:
Final Paper (55%): the paper will reflect archival research and be based on primary sources. Students should prove their capabilities to make a clear argument (max. 5000 words).
Class Participation and Discussion of the Final Paper (45%)
Non-attending students:
Written and Oral exam (50%): two open questions (out of 3) based on the textbook. The oral exam will be a discussion of both the written exam and the Final paper.
One paper (50%) discussing a topic to be agreed upon with the instructor