Courses – History

PLEASE NOTE THAT BOOKINGS FOR COURSES WILL CLOSE AT 12 NOON ON THE FRIDAY OF THE WEEK BEFORE THE COURSE STARTS. UNFORTUNATELY, WE CANNOT ACCEPT BOOKINGS AFTER THAT TIME.

RUSSIA FROM JOSEPH STALIN TO VLADIMIR PUTIN (ONLINE COURSE)

Renato Ammanatti

Starts: Tuesday 18 January 2.00 pm – 4.00pm,  5 weeks

Fees: £40/£35   Code: 05 206

In August 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved after a failed coup d’etat by some military and state leaders opposed to the direction in which Gorbachev was leading the nation and the new federative pact of Soviet republics. Liberal and pro-Western political sectors led by Boris Yeltsin used the coup as a pretext to corner Gorbachev, banning the Communist Party and splitting Soviet Union. On December 8th 1991 the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus signed the agreement that sanctioned the dissolution of the Soviet state. The Soviet Union was formally dissolved by the Supreme Soviet on December 26th 1991. After a period of political, economic and social chaos, Russia revived as an autocracy.
This course explores the changes and continuities inside Russia from Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953 to Vladimir Putin and focuses in particular on foreign relations during the Cold War and in the post-Cold War world.

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THE THUCYDIDES’ TRAP (ONLINE COURSE)

Renato Ammannati

Starts: Tuesday 22 February 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm,  5 weeks

Fees: £40/£35   Code: 05 217

The Thucydides’ trap is an expression that defines certain geopolitical tensions between two countries fighting for supremacy. It was coined by the American political scientist Graham Allison in a 2012 article and originates from the events reported by the Greek historian Thucydides in his The Peloponnesian War: it was the rise of Athens as a military power and the fear of Sparta of losing its supremacy that made the war inevitable between the two Greek city-states. Analysing the events of centuries ago in Greece Graham Allison elaborated a pivotal geopolitical theory: every time an emerging power threatens to overthrow the dominant one, the most plausible outcome is war. Starting from the Peloponnesian events, then analysing the wars between Rome and Carthage down to the present days, this course aims to focus on some important historical cases to prove this theory and tries to predict the future of the political tensions between the USA and China.

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THE SCOTTISH REFORMATION – THE VIEW FROM DUNDEE

(IN-PERSON COURSE, COVID PERMITTING)

Tony Cox

Starts: Monday 21 February 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm,  5 weeks

Fees: £40/£35   Code: 05 215

This course will examine the history of Dundee during the Scottish Reformation of the sixteenth century, which was a defining period for the town. It was in Dundee that ‘Master George’ Wishart first preached and where the first mass actions of the Reformation took place, defining events that will be included alongside an examination of how ordinary Dundonians sought to cope with the revolutionary times they lived through.

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CHINESE POLITICAL THOUGHT (ONLINE COURSE)

Tony Black

Starts: Thursday 3 March 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm,  5 weeks

Fees: £40/£35   Code: 05 223

Traditionally, the ruler was ‘the Son of Heaven’, with bureaucrats selected on merit. Confucius taught beneficence and rule by persuasion; Legalists advocated coercion to promote the interests of the majority. From 221 BCE till 1911, China was a ‘Confucian-Legalist’ state. Chinese Communism under Mao; from 1978 Communist rule has been combined with a partly free market, and there has been a revival of Confucianism among intellectuals.

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