Discipline History Course Title MA History of Ideas and Culture

School of Humanities
Course Title
MA History of Ideas and Culture (jointly offered by disciplines of
History and Philosophy)
Module Coordinator
Module Title
Dr Gearóid Barry
Lecture times
Teaching Format
Brief outline of
Semester One
12 x 2-hour discussion sessions
Ideas of War and Peace in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
This module will be a transnational course looking at the interplay of
ideology, diplomacy and political activism in the European nineteenth
and twentieth centuries. Beginning with the Napoleonic wars, this
module will trace the development of political thought and praxis in
response to mass mobilization of society for modern war. From the
concept of the Concert of Europe to the writings of Tolstoy, Europeans
attempted to imagine a peaceful continent. Tracing the elaboration of
pacifist doctrine through secular and religious movements from the
Universal Peace Congresses of the turn of the twentieth century to the
peace witness of Quakers and other Christians, we will also explore
the dilemmas in the First World War , also in light of belligerent
communism from the Soviet Union and the challenge of Fascism in
Italy, Germany and Spain before and during the Second World War
before concluding with the peace movement's fate in Cold War Europe.
Learning Outcomes
The committed student should:
Read widely and be able to summarizing competing points of view
Have an overview of the key modern European political thinkers on
war and peace
Have a knowledge of the impact of the First World War in particular on
global peace movements
Write succinct essays comparing different figures and historical trends
Assessment Types
and Deadlines
Short class assignments; Long essay.
Required Text
Helpful reading:
Leon Tolstoy, War and Peace (1869; Penguin, 1982)
Mark Mazower, Dark Contintent: Europe’s Twentieth Century
(London: Penguin, 1998)
Anthony Best, Peace: a world history (Polity Press, 2009)
Martin Ceadel, Thinking about war and peace (OUP, 1987)
Brigitte Hamann, Bertha von Suttner: a life for peace (Syracuse
University Press, 1996)