The Global Cold War, 1947-2008 HIST5159

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The Global Cold War shaped the modern world. This course views the conflict from three perspectives-Washington, Moscow, and the global south. Conflicts covered in the course include the Vietnam War, the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the Angolan civil war, and the Cuban revolution. The course also deals with the strategic arms negotiation treaties and peace processes produced by the Cold War itself which continue to shape modern international relations down to the present.


10x2 hour seminars, as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,500 words) - 70%

Book review (1,500 words) - 20%

Seminar contribution - 10%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce key themes in twentieth and twenty first century Global History

■ Develop advanced skills in the formulation of research questions, pursuit of independent research and critical analysis of primary and secondary sources

■ Facilitate the acquisition specialist skills appropriate to detailed study of modern sources, including institutional agendas, perception bias, racism, and institutional stovepiping

■ Prepare students to write a dissertation on a topic in modern history

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ judge historians' use of evidence from Politburo and plenum meetings, arms control negotiation sessions, memoirs and diaries to study historical themes such as decolonization, the rhetoric's and speech acts related to the establishment of a governing international order after 1947, discourses around gender, race and ideology, and human rights discourses used to justify policing activities by global actors

■ design and implement appropriate research methods for analysing sources

■ critically evaluate and compare interpretations of the global Cold War in the light of current historiography, including writing a book review which summarises and critiques its arguments, evaluates its use of evidence, and contextualises it with other publications on the subject;

■ present clear and concise written arguments, incorporating different kinds of substantiating evidence from an appropriate selection of primary and second sources.

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.