H232/B391 The World in the 20th Century
Office: Hawthorn Hall 206A
Office hours: MW 8:30-10am, 11:30am-1pm or by appt.
This course explores some of the important themes in twentieth and twenty-first century world history, including the connections between politics, nationalism/imperialism and energy resources, (geo)politics and religion, the polarization of the North and the South, East and West, and the impact of global economy on all the above issues. Students are expected to develop a deeper understanding and a historical perspective of the main themes of the 20th century world through the course.
Goals for the course include:
B391 meets requirements for:
Books and Required Readings:
The following book is required and available at the campus bookstore.
O’Meara, Patrick, et al., eds. Globalization and the Challenges of a New Century, A Reader. Indiana University Press, 2000.
Other required readings include online articles that are accessible through the links on this webpage and reading accessible from Oncourse modules.
Learning Materials Available via Oncourse:
The following web sites provide relevant information on the areas of the world covered in this class.
The story of Africa.
Africa Research Central.
Commanding Heights Video viewing
New York Times International News
China and Europe, 1500-2000 and beyond.
World History for Us All.
Current History where most of our online readings for this class are taken from.
The following are requirements for this class:
Method of grading: all grades are assigned in percentages, which will be tabulated at the end of the semester and converted to letter grades. The averages of your take-home papers and of your weekly writing assignments will be taken to represent the grades for your take-home paper and weekly writing assignment. The conversion is as follows: 93-100: A; 90-92.9: A-; 85-89.9: B+; 80-84.9: B; 75-79.9: B-; 70-74.9: C+; 65-69.9: C; 60-64.9: C-; 55-59.9: D+; 50-54.9: D; 45-49.9: D-; 44 and below: F.
Grade distribution is as follows:
For those taking the course at the 200 level:
For those taking the course at the 300 level:
All grades will be shown in your Online Gradebook, accessible via Oncourse. You need to have an IUN ID and password to access Oncourse. If you do not have an IUN email account, you can set up one here at https://itaccounts.iu.edu/. Oncourse is also accessible through the IUN homepage: www.iun.edu. You should send all your homework to me via Oncourse. I will also use the "Announcement" and class email functions of Oncourse to correspond with you.
Lesson 1. The changing role of the state in economy and politics
Week 1 (Aug.27-Sept.2)
Aug.27 Introduction. (PPT slides in Oncourse weekly modules) Also please note that ALL online readings are available from Oncourse Modules by the week.
Aug.29 The Great Depression, totalitainism in Italy and Germany, and government intervention in the economy in liberal democratic countries. Reading: History online:1. FDIC: Transcript of Speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Regarding the Banking Crisis - March 12, 1933; 2. Franklin Roosevelt and the Expansion of Presidential Power (located in Oncourse week 1 module) Optional readings: Keynesian economic theory; Keynes, the sunny economist; Hayek's road to serfdom.
Forum question 1: Describe how Franklin Roosevelt built a greater state regulated economy. How do you assess Roosevelt's approach and policies in light of your informed opinions on the subject of state and economy?
Week 2 (Sept.3-9)
Sept.3 Labor Day. No class.
Sept.5 Growth of government power world-wide after World War II. Online Maps: African National Independence map. Map of India, India before Partition.Online readings: 1.The birth of the British welfare state; 2. Labor nationalizes the heights; 3.Developments in Africa and Asia after World War II; 4.Development economics after World War II; 5.Nationalization in third world countries.
Forum question 2: Name two or three factors that led many countries to a state regulated type of economy after World War II. Do we see more state intervention in the world economies before and after 1945? Why?
Week 3 (Sept.10-16)
Sept.10 Communism and state control of society. Online readings: 1. Cold War in Europe. 2.Germany's "Ordoliberals".
Forum question 3: Describe what was different between post World War II Communist Eastern Europe and Western Europe and what they had in common. From there, can you generalize on the changing role of the state in the world after 1945?
Sept.12 The downfall of Communism and Communist countries' road to a market economy. Online readings: 3. The Revolution of 1989 Reconsidered ( located in Oncourse Week 3 module); 4.Russia's Economic Reform Muddle (in Oncourse Week 3 Module).
Forum question 4: While the fall of Communism signifies a success for the free world and free market system, does the difficulty of transition, such as in Russia, signify something else? If so, what does it signify?
Week 4 (Sept.17-23)
Sept.17 A global switch to free market economy and reduction of government intervention in society. Online readings: 1."Red Tape and Blue Sparks," (located in Oncourse Week 4 Module) 2. Latin America and Dependencia Theory, 3.The birth of privatization; 4.Economic lessons (from Margaret Thatcher) by Antonio Martino (scroll half way down), 5. Britain in further reform under David Cameron, 6.Nixon tries price controls7. Reaganomics.
Forum question 5: Why did the world move away from government regulation in the 1990s? And how do we understand the change in the context of the relationship between the state and economies in the world in the 20th century?
Sept.19 East Asia's entry to global market economy. Online readings: 3. The Visible Hand: the State and East Asia's Economic Growth (located in Oncourse Week 4 module); 4. The Future of China's Party State (located in Oncourse week 4 module); 3. Japan's Slow Motion Transition (located in Oncourse Week 4 Module).
Forum question 6: What was special about East Asia's joining the global market economy. Where do the East Asian economies fit in the global economic patterns of the late 20th-21st centuries?
Take-home essay 1: Pick on one of the themes covered in Lesson 1, e.g. the role of the state over the 20th century, the rise of Communism, the downfall of Communism, the aftermath of Communism, and write a 4 page, double spaced essay tracing the development of it in the past century or recent years, through sources such as newspapers like the New York Times, magazines like Time, Foreign Affairs, and scholarly sources. You need to use in-text citations. Also note that the more sources you use, the more likely for you to get a higher grade. If you have any trouble with writing, please contact the Writing Center at Hawthorn Hall, #418 (phone: 219 980 6502): http://www.iun.edu/~writenw/. Paper due via Oncourse Assignments on Sept.23.
Lesson 2: The emergence of a global community and a multi-centered world: nationalisms, civilizational and religious movements and confrontations in an era of globalization.
Week 5 (Sept.24-30)
Sept.24 The rise of OPEC to contend with American and European hegemony in the Middle East. Online reading 1. Energy Shock Oil and the Economy (located in Oncourse Week 5 Module).
Forum question 7: What are the repercussions of OPEC actions after 1973 on U.S. hegemony in the world and on the U.S. economy? Moreover, briefly discuss the significance of the rise of OPEC and regional centers of authority in world politics.
Sept.26 Nationalism and the Middle Eastern states. Online reading: 2. Britain's Middle Eastern Policy after World War I (located in Oncourse Week 5 Module); 3. Israel's First Fifty Years (located in Oncourse Week 5 Module).
Forum question 8: Nationalism is usually defined as the sharing of a culture, religion, history, or language by a people since the mid-19th century. And it is usually treated as the result of a natural development over time. Describe the formation of the Middle Eastern states including the Arab ones and Israel, and, using that information, discuss how nationalism applies or does not apply in the formation of modern states in the 20th century, with the Middle East being an example.
Week 6 (Oct.1-7)
Oct.1 Nationalism and "ethnic cleansing:" the disintegration of Yugoslavia and other Eastern European states. Online readings: 1. Why Yugoslavia Fell Apart (located in Oncourse Week 6 Module); 2. Nationalism Redux (located in Oncourse Week 6 Module); Optional reading: Eastern Europe's Painful Transition (located in Oncourse Week 6 Module).
Forum question 9: How do you explain the fallout of nations in the wake of the downfall of Communism? Why do we see the resurgence of nationalism in a new global age?
Oct.3 Religion and civilizations in the new global order. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations," in O'Meara, 3-22.
Forum question 10: Huntington argues that during the Cold War, it was ideology that divided countries. After the Cold War, it was culture, civilization, and religion. Do you agree with Huntington? Why or why not?
Week 7 (Oct.8-14)
Oct.8 Understanding Islam and the Middle East. Online readings: 1. Activism and Reform in Islam (located in Oncourse Week 7 Module); 2. Fixing the Middle East's Economies (located in Oncourse Week 7 Module); Optional reading: Radical Islam, Liberal Islam (located in Oncourse Week 7 Module).
Forum question 11: What fuels radical Islam?
Oct.10 Are civilizational clashes avoidable in a global culture. "The Clash of Civilizations," "Jihad vs. McWorld," and "The Coming Anarchy," in O'Meara, 23-60. Notes.Optional readings: U.S. targets Somali pirates. A journey through Egypt after the revolution; How despots stay in power.; Why Egypt is not Turkey; Demise of the dictators; The Middle Eastern Revolutions in Historical Perspective
Forum question 12: How do Barber and Kaplan make sense in the context of other readings on cultures and civilizations we have done before?
Week 8 (Oct.15-21) Take-home essay 2: Draw on one of the themes discussed in Lesson two, such as the rise of extreme nationalism, civilizational and religious conflicts in the world after the collapse of Communism in the 1990s, and write a 4 page, double spaced essay tracing the development of it in the past century or recent years, through sources such as newspapers like the New York Times, magazines like Time, Foreign Affairs, and scholarly sources. You need to use in-text citations. Also note that the more sources you use, the more likely for you to get a higher grade. If you have any trouble with writing, please contact the Writing Center at Hawthorn Hall, #418 (phone: 219 980 6502): http://www.iun.edu/~writenw/. Paper due via Oncourse Assignments on Oct.21.
Oct.15 The future of Western civilizations, O'Meara, pt.10. Notes.
Forum question 13: Do you agree that there can be such a thing as a global culture? And what do you think is the future of Western Civilizations? (use the readings to support your arguments).
Lesson 3 Economy, Politics, and Technology in a Global Community
Oct.17 The new global economy. O'Meara, pt.6. Focus on pp.215-252. Notes. Optional online reading: General Motors workers' strike for sustained healthcare coverage. Zakaria: A More Disciplined America. Economic Crisis: Europe's Response.
Forum question 14: Pick one point in the readings about the impact of global economy and give your opinion on it.
Week 9 (Oct.22-28)
Oct.22 A Reexamination of national borders. O'Meara, pt.3. Notes. Optional reading: Can Europe Be Saved? Greece and Italy Sink Under Turmoil While Euro Crisis Widens.ChicagoTribune: Illinois Companies Eyeing A Way Out. Privatizing Greece, Slowly But Not Surely
Forum question 15: Formulate your own views on how globalization is changing the national borders of the world; where do you most strongly agree or differ from the authors?
Oct.24 Conflict and security in a global world order. O'Meara, pt.4. Notes.
Forum question 16: Given the readings and our own experience, how does national security change in a global age?
Week 10 (Oct.29-Nov.4)
Oct.29 Beyond state and culture: politics in a global economy. O'Meara, pt.2. Notes. Optional online reading: The Clash - Essay by Fouad Ajami - New York Times. The Land's Autocracy Won't Quit; How the Arabs Turned Shame into Liberty. Obama Seeks a Course of Pragmatism in the Middle East
Forum question 17: Compare the points made here with Huntington. Use them and your own views to give a brief description of politics in a global economy.
Oct.31 Globalization and democracy. O'Meara, pt.5. Notes. Optional reading: From End of History Author: the Beginning and Middle of History; Hoping for Arab Mandelas.Tribes with flags. Democracy inaction. After Arab Revolts, Reigns of Uncertainty. Fresh Scars on the Body Politic.
Forum question 18: Does democracy become a universal value in a global economy or it is a universal value at all times?
Week 11 (Nov.5-11) Take-home essay 3: Draw on one of the themes discussed in Lesson 3, such as the impact of global economy on national borders and national security, globalization and democracy, interactions between religion/culture/politics/economy, and changes in people's expectations of what government should do for them, and write a 4 page, double spaced essay tracing the development of it in the past century or recent years, through sources such as newspapers like the New York Times, magazines like Time, Foreign Affairs, and scholarly sources. You need to use in-text citations. Also note that the more sources you use, the more likely for you to get a higher grade. If you have any trouble with writing, please contact the Writing Center at Hawthorn Hall, #418 (phone: 219 980 6502): http://www.iun.edu/~writenw/. Paper due via Oncourse Assignments on Nov.11.
Nov.5 Globalization and the free market. Online reading 1: The Late, Great Globalization. (accessible when on campus or retrievable from Oncourse Week 11 Module) Optional online readings: NYTimes: If You Have Skills, She Has Got the Job; Zakaria: A Capitalist Manifesto | Newsweek Business, Op-Ed Columnist - Recession and Revolution - NYTimes.com. Fukuyama: The End of the End of History Fukuyama: The End of America Inc. Another year of living dangerously.Going glocal (available in week 11 Module) Protest on Wall Street. NYTimes: Greece and Italy Seek A Solution from Technocrats.
Forum question 19: Compare the points made here regarding global politics with Huntington's argument that culture and religion are the main dividers of people today. Give a brief description of your views on what elements determine global politics today.
Nov.7 The internet and global economy. O'Meara, pt.7. Notes. Optional reading: Al Jazeera English Finds An Audience; Qaddafi Sees Wikileaks Plot in Tunisia Crisis in Japan and Impact on the Rest of the World. The Al Jazeera effect. China, the Middle Eastern Revolution, and the U.S. counter revolution.
Forum question 20: These essays were written over 10 years ago. From your experience with the internet, comment on how well they have predicted the present.
Lesson 4 The environment, energy, and recent developments in North Korea and China.
Week 12 (Nov.12-18)
Nov.12 Environment a local issue in a global age? O'Meara, pt.9. Notes. Focus on pp.383-415. Optional reading: Cold Jumps Arctic Fence, Stoking Winter's Fury. Seeing Irene as a harbinger of change in climate. NYTimes: In Pakistan: Cities Beyond the Law.
Forum question 21: To what extent does the environment become a global issue according to the three authors in O'Meara part 9?
Nov.14 World resources of water and energy. Online reading 1: The world's water challenge. (accessible from on campus or available from Oncourse Week 12 Module); Online reading 2. Navigating the energy transition. (accessible from on campus computers or available from Oncourse Week 12 Module) Optional readings: NYTimes: Here Comes solar Energy; WallStreetJournal: Step on the Gas; Forecast: Hundred Years of Drought
Forum question 22: What are the recent approaches to dealing with shortages in water and energy? Do you privilege one form over another?
Week 13 (Nov.19-25)
Nov.19 Global warming and global security.Online reading 1: How climate change threatens security. (accessible from on campus computers or available from Oncourse Week 13 Module) Optional reading: Study links El Nino climate to civil wars, unrest.
Forum question 23: How does the author link global security and climate change? To what extent does he make sense?
Nov.21 A world without poverty? Online reading 2: The New Face of Development. (accessible from on campus computers or available from Oncourse Week 13 Module); Optional reading: NY Times: Microlenders, honored with Nobel, are struggling.
Forum question 24: What does the author suggest are the new goals for global development? What are some obstacles? Do you agree/disagree?
Week 14 (Nov.26-Dec.2)
Nov.26 Security in northeast Asia: North Korea. Online readings: 1. North Korea Takes on the World (located in Oncourse 14 Module); 2. North Korea How Will It End (located in Oncourse Week 14 Module).
Forum question 25: What foreign policies do you think should the U.S. develop toward North Korea?
Nov.28 Relationship between China and the U.S.. Online reading 3: The China-U.S. relationship goes global (located in Oncourse Week 14 Module)
Forum question 26: What foreign policies do you think the U.S. should develop toward China?
Week 15 (Dec.3-9) Take-home Essay 4: Draw on one theme covered in Lesson 4, such as environment, energy, poverty, and water resources and challenges ahead, or American foriegn policy toward North Korea or China, and write a 4 page, double spaced essay tracing the development of it in the past century or recent years, through sources such as newspapers like the New York Times, magazines like Time, Foreign Affairs, and scholarly sources. You need to use in-text citations. Also note that the more sources you use, the more likely for you to get a higher grade. If you have any trouble with writing, please contact the Writing Center at Hawthorn Hall, #418 (phone: 219 980 6502): http://www.iun.edu/~writenw/. Paper due via Oncourse Assignments 2 on Dec.11.
Dec.3 Do democracy and free market still matter? Online reading 1: Peace in the 21st Century? (accessible from on campus computers or available from Oncourse Week 15 Module) Optional reading: A national security strategy that does not focus on threats.
Forum question 27: Do you agree with the author that democracy and free market still matter tremendously in the 21st century?
Dec.5 Last day of class. Conclusion.
Week 16 (Dec.10-16)
Take-home essay 4 due on Dec.11 on Oncourse Assignments. The review essay is due on Dec.12 via Oncourse Assignments. Review essay topic: Please evaluate the readings (at least two from each lesson) and assess how they have extended your knowledge about the world in the 20th century, and where applicable discuss their strengths and weaknesses. The essay is 4-6 pages, double spaced, and needs in-text citations.