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CODE 57036
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The course aims to provide students with the general lines of contemporary history from 1815 to today, in a global perspective, as well as the tools necessary for a critical understanding of the main events. Particular attention will be given to the great political, economic, social and cultural transformations between the 19th and 20th centuries and between the 20th and 21st centuries. The preparation of individual and group papers on the construction of peace in history and participation in role-playing games are expected. In the academic year 2024-2025, an interactive monographic part will be dedicated to the history of the “hidden wars” underway worldwide.

Within the course, students who wish to do so will have the opportunity to acquire Open Badges by participating in in-depth thematic activities.



Al termine del corso lo studente è in grado di: - padroneggiare i principali nodi tematici della storia contemporanea dal 1815 ai giorni nostri in Italia, in Europa, nel mondo; - conoscere gli strumenti metodologici di base per l'analisi storica; - sviluppare capacità di giudizio critico; - elaborare studi su temi e periodi storici specifici; - esporre e argomentare con lessico appropriato ricerche di carattere storico. At the end of the course the student is able to: - master the main thematic nodes of contemporary history from 1815 to the present day in Italy, in Europe, in the world; - know the basic methodological tools for historical analysis; - develop critical judgment skills; - elaborate studies on specific themes and historical periods; - expose and argue with appropriate vocabulary researches of a historical nature.


The course aims to provide the student with:

* Basics of events, cultures and transformations in Italy, Europe and the world in contemporary age

* Specific insights into the most important historiographic developments that characterized the 19th and 20th centuries

* Direct knowledge of historical sources

The course also aims to teach students:

* An approach to the interpretative and critical dimension of historiographic research

* Methodological knowledge and skills adequate to prepare and present individual papers on specific themes of contemporary history.


This course contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

17. Partnerships for the Goals


No prerequisites are needed.


The course will take place in presence, with frontal lessons.
Attending students will be involved in group research and in presenting short reports on a current topic.
During the course will be organized and recommended thematic seminars and role plays.

The acquisition of Open Badges requires both work at home and regular and active participation in class.


The course will address the following topics:

  • From modern history to contemporary history
  • Notes on the American Revolution. From confederation to federation
  • Notes on the French Revolution. State and nation
  • Industrial Revolution and Communications
  • Europe in 1815 - The Vienna Congress - Territorial modifications
  • The European Balance System
  • Country and nationality
  • 1820-21, 1830-31, 1848 Revolutions in Europe
  • Independence of Spanish colonies in Latin America
  • Doctrine of Monroe
  • France from Charles X to Louis Philippe d'Orléans
  • Independence of Belgium - The independence of Greece 
  • The Eastern Question
  • The French conquest of Algeria
  • Egypt of Mehemet Alì and the occupation of Syria
  • Palmerston's policy
  • The issue of the Straits - The London Convention of 1841
  • Notes on social and economic transformations in the mid-eighties
  • Free exchange and protectionism - Cobden, List
  • Abolition of Corn legislation
  • Opium War in China and Nanjing Treaty
  • The German unification process 
  • Zollverein
  • Bismarck, Cavour, Napoleon III
  • Prussia's wars against Denmark, Austria
  • Franco-Prussian War - Creation of the German Empire
  • The process of Italian unification
  • Moderate and revolutionary
  • Mazzini, Garibaldi, Cattaneo
  • The First War of Independence
  • Second War of Independence - Creation of the Kingdom of Italy
  • Europe in the 1950s - The Crimean War - The Paris Conference of 1856
  • Napoleon III's Mediterranean Policy
  • Third War of Independence
  • Italian colonial policy
  • US territorial expansion in the first half of the nineteenth century
  • Texas question
  • US-Mexico War
  • Secession War in the United States
  • Japan's opening in the Fifties - The Meij Revolution
  • The modernization and the process of expansion of Japan
  • Chinese-Japanese and Russian-Japanese wars
  • Europe between 1870 and 1890 - From liberty to protectionism
  • Nationalism
  • Bismarck's policy
  • The Balkan war in the mid 1970s
  • The Congress of St. Stephen and the Congress of Berlin
  • The "Triplice" Alliance
  • Europe at the turn of the 20th century: social, economic and political situation
  • Colonialism and imperialism. The division of the world and the contrasts of imperialism in Asia and Africa
  • Opposite alliances and militarization
  • Russia 1905 - End of absolutism
  • Revolution of Young Turks
  • Balkan wars 1912-1913 - Moroccan crises
  • Towards the First World War. Storiographic Interpretations
  • World War I
  • The Society of Nations
  • Russian Revolution
  • The period between the two wars
  • Stalin period
  • Fascist Italy
  • Locarno Conference
  • The 29th Crisis
  • Stresa Conference
  • Nazi Germany
  • The Ethiopian War
  • The advent to Franco's power in Spain
  • Anschluss's attempts
  • Munich Conference
  • Pact Molotov-Ribbentrop
  • US neutrality law: from Johnson's Act to Lend Lease
  • World War II
  • Conferences of the Three Great: Tehran, Yalta, Potsdam
  • Question of Germany
  • Question of Poland
  • Italy after World War II: party system, institutional referendum, 1948 elections, centrist governments, Trieste issue
  • Stalin's "two camps" policy
  • The creation of the Cominform. The outbreak of Yugoslavia in 1948
  • Doctrine of containment, roll-back and massive retaliation, "flexible response"
  • Truman's Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin Block, NATO
  • The Atomic: From the Baruch Plan to the Arms Race. The first agreements on the limitation of nuclear weapons. Salt I and Salt II
  • The launch of the European integration process
  • Brussels, OECE, Council of Europe
  • The birth of the European Communities
  • The center-left in Italy
  • 1968 in Italy and in the world
  • The period of terrorism
  • The end of the first Republic
  • Decolonization notes
  • The Indian case
  • The Algerian case
  • Indochina and the Vietnam War
  • Cuba: from Batista to Fidel Castro
  • Cuba's Missile Crisis
  • De Gaulle Europe. The contrast with Kennedy
  • Berlin Crisis. The construction of the Wall
  • European integration: from the Treaties of Rome to our day
  • The Hague Conference, The 1970s crisis, the European Parliament elections, the draft Treaty of 1984, the Maastricht Treaty
  • Enlargement and attempts at institutional reform
  • Stalin's death and start-up
  • The 20th Congress of the PCUS and the Kruscev era
  • Insurrections in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia
  • The fall of the Berlin Wall
  • China from the proclamation of the Republic to this day. Period between the two wars: Mao, Ciang-Kai-Schek, civil war, long march, Japanese invasion.
  • The birth of the People's Republic, the two Cine
  • The progressive detachment from the USSR
  • The cultural revolution
  • Deng Xiao Ping
  • Afghanistan: from the postwar period to the Soviet invasion
  • Sudan between 800 and 900
  • The Rwanda crisis
  • Sykes-Picot, Hussein-MacMahon, the Balfour statement.
  • The period between the two wars in Palestine
  • The birth of the State of Israel
  • Nasser and the crisis of the Suez Canal
  • Arab-Israeli wars


Students must prepare the following manual:

Alfredo Canavero, Storia contemporanea, Pearson, 2019

For the monographic part ad hoc texts will be included on aulaweb

The non-attending student will have to report on one of the following volumes:

Europe and the World

  • Simona Merlo, La costruzione dell'Ucraina contemporanea. Una storia complessa, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2023
  • Agostino Giovagnoli e Elisa Giunipero (a cura di), Cina, Europa, Stati Uniti. Dalla Guerra fredda a un mondo multipolare, Milano, Guerini e associati, 2023
  • La Conferenza internazionale di Genova del 1922, Genova, Istituto ligure per la storia della Resistenza e dell'età contemporanea Raimondo Ricci, 2022
  • Simone Attilio Bellezza, Il destino dell'Ucraina. Il futuro dell'Europa, Brescia, Morcelliana, 2022
  • Ernesto RossiL’Europa di domani, ovvero gli Stati Uniti d’Europa, a cura di Antonella Braga, Aragno 2021
  • Alberto Rosselli, La caduta dell'Impero ottomano e le radici della politica di Erdogan, Archivio Storia, 2021
  • Giorgio Del Zanna (a cura di), Il Vaticano e la Turchia. Dall'Impero ottomano a Erdoğan, Milano, Guerini, 2020
  • Laura Spinney, L’influenza spagnola: la pandemia che cambiò il mondo, Venezia, Marsilio, 2018
  • Aleksandr Solženitsyn e D. Silvestri, Nel primo cerchio, Voland 2018
  • Marco Boato, Il lungo '68 in Italia e nel mondo, Brescia, Morcelliana, 2018
  • Gli Stati Uniti d'Europa. Les États-Unis d'EuropeParigi 1872, a cura di Francesco Gui, Roma, Bulzoni 2019
  • Le sfide della pace. L’ONU e l’Italia per una World Community (1945-2015), Padova, Cedam, 2017
  • Olivier Wieviorka, Une histoire de la Résistance en Europe occidentale: 1940-1945, Paris 2017
  • Daniele Archibugi e Alice Pease, Delitto e castigo nella società globale. Crimini e processi internazionali, Roma, Castelvecchi, 2017
  •  Lara Piccardo, Ai confini dell’Europa. Piccola storia della Crimea contesa, Bari, Cacucci, 2017
  • Sara Lorenzini, Una strana guerra fredda. Lo sviluppo e le relazioni Nord-Sud, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2017
  • Marcello Flores, Il genocidio degli armeni, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2017
  • Marco Impagliazzo, Il martirio degli armeni. Un genocidio dimenticato, Brescia, Morcelliana, 2015
  • Angelo D’Orsi, 1917. L'anno della rivoluzione, Laterza 2016
  • - T. Forcellese, G. Franchi, A. Macchia, La fine del Comunismo in Europa. Regimi e dissidenze, 1946-1989, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2016
  • Robert Conquest, Il grande terrore, 2016
  • Vittorio Criscuolo, Il Congresso di Vienna, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015
  • Leonardo Campus, I sei giorni che sconvolsero il mondo. La crisi dei missili di Cuba e le sue percezioni internazionali, Mondadori 2015
  • Donatella Di Cesare, Israele. Terra, ritorno, anarchia, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 2014
  • Timothy Snyder, Terre di sangue. L'Europa nella morsa di Hitler e Stalin, Rizzoli 2011
  • Frederick Kempe, Berlin 1961, Putnam 2011 
  • Marco Clementi, Il diritto al dissenso. Il progetto costituzionale di Andrej Sacharov, Roma, Odradek ed., 2002 


  • Paolo Borruso, Debre Libanos 1937. Il più grave crimine di guerra dell'Italia, Bari, Roma, Laterza, 2024
  • Paolo Pombeni, L'apertura. L'Italia e il centrosinistra (1953-1963), Bologna, Il mulino, 2022
  • Guido Formigoni, I cattolici italiani nella prima guerra mondiale. Nazione, religione, violenza e politica, Brescia, Morcelliana, 2021
  • Carlo M. Fiorentino, Il garbuglio diplomatico. L'Italia tra Francia e Prussia nella guerra del 1866, Milano, Luni, 2021
  • Guido Formigoni, Storia essenziale dell’Italia repubblicana, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2021
  • Christian Goeschel, Mussolini e Hitler. Storia di una relazione pericolosa, Bari, Laterza, 2019
  • Emanuele Macaluso, Portella della Ginestra. Strage di Stato?, Castelvecchi, 2018
  • Daniela Preda, Alcide De Gasperi: European Founding Father, Brussels, Peter Lang, 2017
  • Nicola Pedrazzi, L’Italia che sognava Enver. Partigiani, comunisti, marxisti-leninisti: gli amici italiani dell’Albania popolare (1943-1976), Besta editrice, 2017
  • Piero Craveri, L’arte del non governo. L’inarrestabile declino della Repubblica, Marsilio, Venezia 2016
  • Mariuccia Salvati, Passaggi. Italiani dal fascismo alla Repubblica, Roma, Carocci, 2016
  • Marco Patricelli, L'Italia delle sconfitte. Da Custoza alla ritirata di Russia, Laterza 2016
  • Antonio Varsori, Radioso Maggio. Come l’Italia entrò in guerra, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015
  • Maurizio Ridolfi (a cura di), I Presidenti: storia e costumi della Repubblica nell’Italia democratica, Roma, Viella, 2014
  • Luca Riccardi, L’ultima politica estera. L’Italia e il Medio Oriente alla fine della Prima Repubblica, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino, 2014
  • Agostino Giovagnoli, Il caso Moro. Una tragedia repubblicana, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2009
  • Luca Micheletta, La resa dei conti: il Kosovo, l’Italia e la dissoluzione della Jugoslavia (1939-1941), Roma, Edizioni Nuova cultura, 2008


Exam Board


GUIDO LEVI (President Substitute)

LUCA BARBAINI (Substitute)


LARA PICCARDO (Substitute)



 17 September 2024

Classrooms, dates, hours of lectures and exams on Easyacademy Unige:

Class schedule




The exam is in part written (19th century) and partly oral (20th century) and involves questions both on the institutional part and on the texts of in-depth. The oral part, on average, lasts around 15-20 minutes.
Attending students can attend a written exam ongoing about the 19th century.
For attending students, the oral report presented during the course is evaluated. For non-attending students, an in-depth study will be chosen among the proposals published on Aulaweb.


The Commission is designated by the Department Council and chaired by the professor in charge of the course. The evaluation is based mainly on knowledge of the subject, but also on the quality of the presentation, the correct use of specialist vocabulary and the ability to critically reason on the study carried out.

Finally, for the purpose of acquiring the Open Badges, clarity of presentation, ability to effectively summarize, organization of the presentation and ability to use the notions learned will be assessed.


Students with certification of ASD, disability or other special educational needs are advised to contact both the contact person Prof. Aristide Canepa (, and the teacher, at the beginning of the course, to agree on teaching and examination methods that, in compliance with the objectives of the teaching, take into account the individual learning methods and provide suitable compensatory instruments.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Peace, justice and strong institutions
Peace, justice and strong institutions
Partnerships for the goals
Partnerships for the goals


 PRO3 - Soft skills - Gestione progettuale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Gestione progettuale base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Creazione progettuale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Creazione progettuale base 1 - A