The Radical Fringes of Interwar Europe, 1918-1936 HIST4227

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Although remembered posthumously mainly as an interlude between the First and Second World Wars, inter-war Europe saw the birth of the core ideas that were to shape the modern world. This course looks at a number of key themes, including the rise of modern design via the Bauhaus movement, the first attempt at 'global government' (The League of Nations), the emergence of the modern world's first secular, modernising Muslim state (Kemalist Turkey), and the most radical political alternatives to free market liberal capitalism (Communism and Fascism) that emerged in Italy, Spain, the Soviet Union, Romania and Germany during this period.


Two one-hour sessions per week. This is one of the Honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





One two-hour examination in April/May of year taught (70%).

One 2,000 word essay (20%)

One 1500 word seminar written paper (3%) and 10 minute seminar oral presentation (3%)

Overall seminar contribution (4%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.

Students' research capacity will be enriched by their introduction to diverse source materials and their oral and written communication skills enhanced in ways designed to address employers' expectations for highly literate and highly articulate graduates who are fully cognisant of a range of research tools.


■ show students how a professional historian works.

By supporting students in the production of their essay and seminar presentation, students will gain first hand experience of the scoping and shaping of research projects and the challenges faced by historians in the pursuit of advances in knowledge.


■ familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide-range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).

The critical interpretation of key historiographical and theoretical debates relating to this subject will inform the close reading of sources. Provenance, perspective, context, intent and audience will be core considerations in students' interpretation of sources.


■ ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised. The seminars aim to encourage student-led learning and the facilitation of rigorous and informed debate.


■ encourage students to develop imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these qualities are valuable.

Students will be encouraged to reflect on the range of generic research and communication skills they are developing over the course of this course in order to align their academic and professional aspirations and competencies and encourage reflective practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ analyse and explain the linkages between philosophical ideas and politics in the period and region concerned.

■ demonstrate in written and oral work an understanding of key conceptual debates in the literature.

■ Incorporate such debates along with the capacity to demonstrate this by understanding in written work.

■ possess the capacity to freely articulate the relevance of the period and issues covered to later developments, i.e. to what extent economic instability in Germany undermined democracy, or how Kemal Ataturk's legacy continues to shape Turkey today.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.