Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE International Relations Between the World Wars

UM LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course




DESCRIPTION This study-unit investigates the complex and fast-moving period of international history when European powers directed world affairs apparently for the last time before the appearance of superpowers and world history. The study-unit will attempt to address the paradox that defines international relations in the inter-war years, namely that the massive consequences of the First World War and the equally massive changes brought about by the peace treaties failed to change the traditional and fundamentally Eurocentric conduct of international relations, such as to achieve the promised ‘just and durable peace’. Central to this is the unpreparedness of the big layers for the much vaunted new international order and the dissonance between the high principles proclaimed in 1919 and the actual behaviour and attitudes of the players.

Study-unit Aims

• To evaluate the importance of this period in international history as a whole, with reference to the wider history of the twentieth century;
• To bridge the hiatus between an era of world history that ended with the First World War and another that emerged after the Second World War.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Comprehend the transformative nature of the inter-war years in the context of modern and contemporary history;
• Recognize the challenges and implications of trying to transcend traditional practice and patterns in the conduct of international relations.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Evaluate the historic meaning of events beyond narrative and causality;
• Draw on the insights acquired when joining any discussion of major themes in more recent and current international history.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

• All readings are available in the University libraries.

E.H. Carr, International Relations between the Two World Wars, 1919-1939, London 1990.
Charles H. Feinstein, et al., The European Economy between the Wars, Oxford 1997.
A.J.P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War, London 1961.
Richard S. Grayson, Austen Chamberlain and the Commitment to Europe: British Foreign policy 1924-1929, London 1997.
R.A.C. Parker, Chamberlain and Appeasement: British Policy and the coming of the Second World War, London 1993.
Geoffrey C. Roberts, The Soviet Union and the Origins of the Second World War. Russo-German Relations and the Road to War 1993-1941, London 1994.
Robert J Young, France and the origins of the Second World War, London 1996.


Assessment Component/s Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Dominic Fenech


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Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2022/3. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.