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This course explores some of the major ideas and events that have shaped world history since 1945 and asks: Which are stronger, the forces for world unity or the forces for fragmentation? The first half of the course looks at the immediate post-war period. This is the time when Europe declines, European colonies become new nations and the United States of America (U.S.A.) gains power. It is the time of the Cold War when the world is divided by 'an iron curtain' between western capitalist states led by the U.S.A. and eastern bloc communist states centered on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The second half of the course looks at the world after the collapse of communism. We study the global impacts of the struggle for resources and the increasing prominence of terrorism in the modern world.
The end of WWII and the beginning of the cold war is the time when Europe lost her empires in Africa and Asia and new nations like India and Israel were formed. This course focuses on post-war decolonisation and the making of new nations. It looks at the impact of communism and capitalism on Europe and Asia and on global politics. We study the way race, religion and competition for resources challenged fledgling democracies and the way that oil and other resources continue to shape post-cold war politics. The course is truly global, including aspects of Middle East, African, Asian and Pacific history as well as European and American. It asks the question: Which are greater, the forces bringing the world towards greater unity or the forces tearing it apart?https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219584/Ghosts-war-Artist-superimposes-World-War-II-photographs-modern-pictures-street-scenes.html
After successful completion of this course, you will be able to:1. Communicate insights into the impact of colonialism and decolonisation in shaping the world post 19452. Explain relationships between decolonisation, the cold war and the spread of communism3. Discuss the relationship of decolonisation, the end of the cold war and ideological difference to the struggle for political freedom.4. Discuss the changing political alliances post cold war and the competition for resources.5. Analyse and discuss primary and secondary sources6. Demonstrate historical insights into modern world history in both written and oral form.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Engaged with the community
Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Please check the course Learn page for further details and updates.
W. M. Spellman;
A Concise History of the World since 1945: States and Peoples
Red Globe Press (London), 2020.
Domestic fee $844.00
International fee $3,950.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see