Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Peace-Making and International Relations after the First World War HIST5144

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Efforts to construct a new international order in the aftermath of the Great War remains among the most important yet also most controversial issues in modern history. Although the peace settlements agreed in 1919 are often considered to have made a second global war all but inevitable, they have also been praised for providing the basis for an enduring peace that was squandered recklessly by poor international leadership during the 1930s. This course will examine the political dynamics of peace-making after the Great War. It will pay particular attention to contending conceptions of global order articulate in the aftermath of the most widespread and destructive conflict in history.


2 hours seminars per week for 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,500 words) - 60%

Presentation (10 minutes) & Report (1,500 words) - 40%


The presentation of the report will be assessed along with overall contribution to seminar discussions.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to the very extensive historiography of peace-making and international relations after the First World War.

■ Discuss and debate core questions structuring this literature with a particular emphasis on the impact of the First World War on the politics of peace-making.

■ Introduce students to the wide variety of conceptions of international order articulated world-wide during the Paris Peace Conference and after.

■ Consider the role of the Paris Peace Conference on the evolution of International Public Law.

■ Introduce students to the methods and approaches of the 'new international history'.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Have a sound grasp of the core issues and debates structuring the literature on Peace-Making after the Great War.

■ Understand the profound impact of the experience of the First World War on the political, social and cultural dynamics of peace-making after 1918.

■ Discuss the importance of international law to peace-making as well as the impact of peace-making after 1918 on the evolution of international public law.

■ Understand and use the concepts and methodologies deployed by the 'new international history'.

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.