Crisis Decision-Making in War and Peace, 1914-2003
This information is for the 2012/13 session.
Professor David Stevenson, EAS.E604
Intended primarily for MSc History of International Relations, MSc Theory and History of International Relations. Core course for the LSE-PKU Double Degree in International Affairs. Also available to students on the LSE - Columbia University Double Degree in International and World History.
The course is intended for students with or without a detailed knowledge of the international relations of the twentieth century. Students without a detailed knowledge are advised to undertake preliminary background reading.
The history of international relations from the First World War to the Iraq War. Particular stress is placed upon key turning points and on crisis decision-making. Topics examined in this course include German decision-making in 1914; peacemaking, 1919; the Ruhr occupation crisis; Manchuria, Abyssinia and the crises of collective security; the Munich agreement; the Nazi-Soviet Pact and the outbreak of war in 1939; Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union; the outbreak of the Pacific War; the decision to drop the atomic bomb; the creation of the state of Israel, 1948-49; the Berlin Blockade; the outbreak and escalation of the Korean War; the Suez Crisis; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the US and Vietnam, 1961-65; the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1967 and 1973; German reunification and the collapse of the Soviet bloc; the origins of the Gulf War, 1990-91; the road to the 2003 Iraq War.
The course will be taught in 22 weekly seminars of two hours' duration. Students will be expected to read widely in documentary and other primary sources, and to participate actively in the seminars, which will address the historiographical debates raised in the secondary literature on the topics covered. Students will write four essays. Three of the essays will be up to 3,000 words in length and draw upon primary sources. The fourth will be a shorter timed essay produced in class.
Full bibliographies are provided in the seminars. Students may consult the following introductory accounts: W. R. Keylor, The Twentieth-Century World: an International History; A. Best, J. M. Hanhimäki, J. A. Maiolo, and K. E. Schulze, International History of the Twentieth Century; S.Marks, The Ebbing of European Ascendancy: an International History of the World, 1914-1945; Z. Steiner, The Lights that Failed: European International History, 1919-1933; R.W. Boyce and J. A. Maiolo (eds.), The Origins of World War Two: The Debate Continues; O. A. Westad, Reviewing the Cold War: Approaches, Interpretation, Theory; D. J. Reynolds, One World Divisible: a Global History since 1945; J. W. Young and J. C. Kent, International Relations since 1945: a Global History.
There will be one three-hour written examination in the ST. Questions on the earlier and the later topics are in separate sections of the examination paper. Candidates are expected to answer three questions, with at least one taken from each section of the paper.