Contemporary History

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in COMMUNICATION SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (56 hours)

The knowledge acquired in the framework of high school curricula, especially in the fields of linguistics, history and geography, is the fundamental basic conceptual background to deal with the topics addressed in the course.

Student learning will be assessed through one oral test. The final grade will reflect the level of acquisition of the knowledge, competences and skills provided by the course. The following evaluation criteria will be applied: knowledge of the topic, ability to synthetize and analytical skills. Given the peculiar features of the course, communicative aspects will be also taken into account.

Voto Finale

The course will retrace the development in Europe of the national states system, in the context of the global historical processes which took place between the American Revolution and the creation of the European Union. A particular emphasis will be given to the complexity and multiplicity of actors and factors contributing to the development of the current international order, with a focus on European history. Moreover, the intricacy of the historical causes concurring to the developing of the European unification process will be highlighted, a process providing for the creation of a new statehood by involving the civil society in its articulated phenomenology of economic, political, social, cultural and religious behaviours. National political cultures, Europeanist and federalist political ideals, the international relations system, the work of governments and diplomats, are all interplaying factors which shaped, albeit in different ways, the current European and global geopolitical order, to be understood and interpreted as such. As for the learning outcomes, students are expected to gain the ability to apply and interpret the acquired knowledge so as to better understand European dynamics as well as international political and cultural relations. This will allow them to operate in the field of communication with the appropriate cognitive skills to grasp the complexity of the present national and international situation. A specific seminar will focus on the European states system in its connections with local authorities. A Congress dedicated to these issues will be organized in cooperation with Roma3 University, the “Centro interdipartimentale di ricerca e comunicazione sulla storia del '900” of Pavia University and the “Associazione universitaria di studi europei”. A second Congress, focusing on the European integration process, will be hold in collaboration with the European Union, Turin University Jean Monnet Chair, Genova University and Pavia University.

The course is divided into two parts:
1. The basic part will provide the necessary knowledge to understand contemporary history, which is rooted in the events occurred between the American and the French Revolutions.
2. The monographic part will focus on the development of the modern State in Europe in its connection with the international system: fulcrum of the international history at first, the European national state will turn into “dust without substance”.

For the final exam students are required to study the following volumes:
1. Alfredo Canavero, Storia contemporanea, Pearson 2019
2. Guido Formigoni, La politica internazionale nel Novecento, bologna, Il Mulino, 2007
As for the seminars, students may choose between two volumes:
Fabio Zucca, Autonomie locali e federazione internazionale. La battaglia del Conseil des communes et Régions d'Europe per l'unità europea, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2012
Corrado Malandrino e Stefano Quirico, L'idea d'Europa. Storie e prospettive, Roma, Carocci, 2020


The educational objectives of the course will be achieved through frontal classes for a total of 64 hours, some of which will be dedicated to the analysis of documents and articles from the web as well as from daily and periodical press. Due to the peculiar feature of the course, attendance to lectures is strongly recommended.

Student reception will take place by appointment, to be scheduled by e-mail (, in Padiglione Morselli (via Dunant 3, Varese) or via Monte Generoso