HHIA03421U  HIS, Political Ideologies in Twentieth-Century Europe

Volume 2013/2014
Modern European Studies (CEMES):
MA-level: Module 2: European politics in a historical perspective [2013-Curriculum]

Module I-VI [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
MA-elective: [MA-elective Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
BA-elective - internal for BA students of History:
Module T4 (Subject element 1050) or Module T5 (Subject element 1051) [BA-elective studies, 2007-Curriculum]
Political Ideologies in Twentieth-Century Europe
This course explores the most important political ideologies in Europe from around 1900 until today, including fascism, Nazism, Marxism, communism, socialism, social- and Christian democratism and neo-liberalism. The aim of the course is to discuss how these ideologies were created, what characterizes them, and what roles they have played in practical politics during the twentieth century. Moreover, the course discusses the potential – and the challenges – posed by various political ideologies to contemporary Europe. Illuminating a long range of persons, movements and parties that were influential in shaping ideological thought and directing it into the arena of practical politics in various European countries, the course pays special attention to the rise and development of European neo-liberalism as a transnational political and economic ideology in Europe after 1945. Focus is here on the post-war institutionalization of the neo-liberal network that occurred with the founding of the Mont Pèlerin Society, a transnational think tank, in Switzerland in 1947, under the leadership of Friedrich von Hayek, and its development into a global intellectual network with immense political influence by the 1980s, when market-driven approaches re-shaped national societies and the world economy. In addition, the course explores the status of liberal political and economic values today, with a view to disagreements concerning how to solve, for example, the economic crisis and questions related to immigration, value pluralism and freedom of speech. The course moreover gives an introduction to key theoretical and methodological discussions of what political ideology is and how the phenomenon can be studied. In line with recent research, we will not view ideology as a phenomenon with a fixed essence and core, but as a set of changeable concepts and patterns of thought that has been constantly defined and redefined in changing context by a variety of historical actors.

Course objectives (clarification of some of the objectives stipulated in the curriculum):
• knowledge of the most important political ideologies in twentieth century Europe
• knowledge of the potential and the challenges posed by various ideologies to contemporary Europe
• knowledge of theoretical and methodological tools that can be used to analyze the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of European ideologies
- Jan-Werner Müller: Contesting Democracy: Political Ideas in Twentieth Century Europe. New Haven, 2011.
-…to be announced!
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