This course gives a broad introduction to the history of the contemporary world since 1945. Important developments are discussed with respect to their global implications. The course has four main parts: 1) ecology, 2) demography and energy, 3) economics and society, 3) international politics.
The connecting thread in this survey is the tension between global integration and local fragmentation. Global commerce, multinationals that are not controlled by a particular nation-state, the coca-colonisation of popular cultures, the internet. All these phenomena point to global integration. Yet counterarguments are: the proliferation of states since 1945 due to decolonisation and the implosion of the Soviet Union, religious and racial antagonisms and the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Screenings of documentaries + reader. The students receive a number of questions they have to answer while watching each documentary and after having read some additional texts. The examination will contain an essay question on this subject.