Da secoli l'umanità aspira alla pace e a soluzioni pacifiche dei conflitti, ma solo negli ultimi secoli la pace è stata percepita come un obiettivo politico raggiungibile: così è diventata concepibile l'idea dell'abolizione della guerra; sono nate associazioni per la pace (e il pacifismo come una sorta di partito di pace) e si sono sviluppate organizzazioni internazionali volte a bandire la guerra e a promuovere le operazioni di mantenimento della pace. Il corso fornisce un'introduzione storica alla questione della pace come uno dei punti nodali della politica contemporanea fino all'inizio del XXI secolo. Il corso è dedicato alla storia internazionale delle idee di pace, dei movimenti di pace e delle istituzioni di pace.


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For centuries mankind has desired peace and a peaceful resolution of conflicts; only in the last few centuries peace has been perceived as an attainable political objective. In this way, the idea of the abolition of war became conceivable, associations dedicated to peace arose (and pacifism was also considered as a kind of peace party) and international organizations were founded, with the aim of banning war and promoting peacekeeping operations.

The course offers a historical introduction to the theme of peace as one of the focal points of contemporary politics until the beginning of the 21st century. It is dedicated to the international history of peace ideas, peace movements and peace institutions.

The course aims to encourage students to think critically on the theme of war/peace in history, focusing on past centuries, but with an introduction to why, during Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern age, the desire for peace and the rejection of war never became a political objective.

By the end of the course, students will be able to better comprehend the main aspects of the peace/war debate and the importance and limitations of peace movements and peace institutions in the contemporary world. Furthermore, they will acquire an understanding of the main interpretations and methodologies proposed and used by scholars to analyze the history of peace.

The course is taught in English.

Introduction: Peace and Historical Research
Week 1
Introduction and description of the course. Methodological issues and new approaches: The concept of peace; ‘Peace history’; Pacifism and ‘pacificism’.

PART I – The inevitability of war

Week 2
Antiquity: Ancient Eastern Civilizations, War and peace in the Bible, Ancient Greece, Rome. The Christian Tradition: Early Christianity and military service: A Christian pacifism?; The Constantinian turn; Augustine’s synthesis.

Week 3
The Middle Ages: Islam, Christianity and holy war; the ‘just war’ theory; Christians refuse war (Bogomils, Cathars, Waldensians, Lollards, Taborites, Bohemian and Moravian Brethren). Refusal of war in the age of absolute Monarchies: Erasmus’s humanist irenism, Anabaptist, Memmonite, Anti-Trinitarian Not-Resistance, Quaker ‘peace testimony’. Restraint of war in the age of absolute monarchies: Victoria and Grotius.

Peace As a Political Aim

Week 4
The idea of a ‘perpetual peace’ (1712-1814): Enlightenment and peace projects; Rousseau; Kant; Revolutionary war and the birth of the ‘friends of peace’.

Week 5
Peace and war in the age of nations (1815-1870): Conservatism, liberalism, radicalism, socialism and the peace issue; Moderates and radicals inside peace societies; The Peace Congress Movement and its politicization.

Week 6
The age of militarism and pacifism (1870-1914): The birth of pacifism as an international movement for international law and arbitration; Socialist anti-militarism; Tolstoyanism; The difficulties of pacifists and socialists.

Total Peace in the Age of Total War

Week 7
The failure of peace and a new pacifism (1914-1918): Nationalism and peace; New associations: Women’s International League, Union of Democratic Control, League of Nations Society, No-Conscription Fellowship, Fellowship of Reconciliation. ‘No More Wars’ (1914-1931): Wilsonianism and the League of Nations; Gandhi and nonviolence; A peace mass movement.

Week 8
Pacifism and Totalitarianism (1931-1945): Warlike totalitarianisms; A divided peace movement; The Peace Pledge Union; Against fascism and war?.

The Age of Peace Movements

Week 9
‘One World or None’ (1939-1947): the UN; World federalism; A physicists’ anti-nuclear weapons movement; New anti-war constitutions. ‘Does the Dove Fly to East?’ (1947-1953): The communist ‘partisans od peace’; World federalism’s rise and fall; Peace at the core of the Cold War political debate.

Week 10
Peace and Protest (1954-1978): Atomic consciousness; the Pugwash movement; The anti-nuclear protest; Churches and peace; ‘Make Love, Not War!’: young culture and the Vietnam War; Peace and revolution; The Peace Research. Missiles and Peace Culture (1979-1989): Eco-Pax; the Transnational peace movement.

Week 11
The Peacekeeping Years (1989-2001): UN peace-keeping and its theory; Clinton administration and ‘democratic peace’; Peacekeepers vs. pacifists. War and Peace at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Tomahawks vs. Kalashnikov: A decline of ‘Great Wars’? US Mars vs. EU Venus?

Week 12
A final appraisal: Pacifism or pacifisms? Peace and Politics. What results? Policies or politics changed?

Core Documentation

David Cortright, Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
Michael Howard, War and the Liberal Conscience (London: Temple Smith, 1978) (or any later edition).

• In English:
1. David Cortright, Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
2. Michael Howard, War and the Liberal Conscience (London: Temple Smith, 1978) (or any later edition).
3. One book chosen among the recommended readings
4. Another book chosen among the recommended readings

Reference Bibliography

RECOMMENDED READINGS: Harriet Hyman Alonso, Peace as Woman’s Issue. A History of the U.S. Movement for World Peace and Women’s Rights (Syracuse (NY): Paperbacks, 1993). Raymond Aron, Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1966) (or any later edition). Robert H. Bainton, Christian Attitudes toward War and Peace (New York: Abingdon Press, 1960) (or any later edition). Peter Brock, History of pacifism. I. Pacifism in Europe to 1914 (Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 1972) (or any later edition). Peter Brock, History of pacifism. II. Pacifism in the United States from the Colonial era to the first World War (Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 1968) (or any later edition). Peter Brock, History of pacifism. III. Twentieth-Century Pacifism (New York/London: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970) (or any later edition). Martin Ceadel, Pacifism in Britain, 1914-1945: The Defining of a Faith (Oxford-New York: Clarendon Press-Oxford University Press, 1980). Martin Ceadel, Thinking about Peace and War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). Martin Ceadel, The Origins of War Prevention: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1730-1854 (Oxford/New York: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press, 1996). Martin Ceadel, Semi-detached Idealists: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1854-1945 (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). Charles Chatfield, For Peace and Justice: Pacifism in America, 1914-1941 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1971). Charles Chatfield, and Peter Van den Dungen (eds.), Peace Movements and Political Cultures (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1988). Roger Chickering, Imperial Germany and a World without War: The Peace Movement and German Society, 1892-1914 (Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 1975). Sandi E. Cooper, Patriotic Pacifism. Waging War on War in Europe, 1815-1914 (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991). Jost Dülffer, and Robert Frank (eds.), Peace, War and Gender from Antiquity to the Present: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Essen: Klartext, 2009) Evans, Richard J., Comrades and Sisters: Feminism, Socialism and Pacifism in Europe, 1870-1945 (Brighton: Wheatsheap Books / New York: St. Martin Press, 1987). W.B. Gallie, Philosophers of Peace and War: Kant, Clausewitz, Marx, Engels and Tolstoy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1978). [Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,] Gandhi on Non-Violence: Selected Texts from Mohandas K. Gandhi's Non-Violence in Peace and War, edited with an introduction by Thomas Merton, Boston/New York: Shambhala , 1996) (or any later edition). Joanne Gowa, Ballots and Bullets: The Elusive Democratic Peace (Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 1999). Kenneth J. Heinemann, Campus Wars: The Peace Movement at American State Universities in the Vietnam Era (New York: New York University Press, 1993). Michael Howard, The Invention of Peace. Reflections on War and International Order (London: Profile Books, 2001). Holger Nehring, Politics of Security: British and West German Protest Movements and the Early Cold War, 1945-1970 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) Linda K. Schott, Reconstructing Women’s Thoughts: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom before World War II (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997). Vaisse, Maurice (ed.), Le pacifisme en Europe. Dès années 1920 aux années 1950 (Bruxelles: Bruylant, 1993). Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars (New York: Basic Books, 1977) (or any later edition). Lawrence S. Wittner, Rebels Against War. The American Peace Movement, 1933-1983 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1984). Lawrence S. Wittner, Struggle Against the Bomb, Vol. I, One World or None. A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement Through 1953 (Stanford (CA): Stanford University Press, 1991). Lawrence S. Wittner, The Struggle Against the Bomb, Vol. II, Resisting the Bomb. A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1954-1970 (Stanford (CA): Stanford University Press, 1997). Lawrence S. Wittner, The Struggle Against the Bomb, Vol. III, Toward Nuclear Abolition. A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1971 to the Present (Stanford (CA): Stanford University Press, 2003). Benjamin Ziemann, (ed.), Peace Movements in Western Europe, Japan and the USA during the Cold War (Essen: Klartext, 2008).

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures, projections, library work, research hands on, critical in class discussion of the assigned readings, Moodle. For the in class discussion, students will be required to read articles and chapters that will be assigned weekly by professor. Access to this material can be obtained through Libraries or through the online subscriptions of Roma Tre University.


• For students of the International Studies Program attendance is mandatory for all classes. If a student misses more than four classes without justification, 3 percentage points will be deducted from the final grade for every additional absence. Any exams, tests, presentations, or other work missed due to student absences can only be rescheduled in cases of documented medical emergencies or family emergencies. • Students of the Program in Relazioni Internazionali e Studi Europei may choose between: 1. Being attending students, following the International Studies Program required work and form of assessment 2. Being not attending students, enrolling in the oral exam at the end of classes and discussing a. Required Readings in English b. Two books among the Recommended Readings

Type of evaluation

REQUIRED WORK AND FORM OF ASSESSMENT: Attendance and participation (20%); mid-term written test (25%); book review paper (30%); in class final (25%). • Class participation: Students will have to participate actively in class discussions, demonstrating the ability to make connections with the readings assigned for each session. • In Class Mid-term exam: Students will select from a list of essay prompts and write on the subject of their choice 2 short essays. • Book review paper: Students will read a book chosen with the instructor in the list of the recommended readings; they will have to make a presentation in class and answer questions from classmates and instructor; then they will have to write a paper about it (12-15 pages). • In Class Final exam: Formatted as the Midterm, but will focus on the readings and topics analysed in the second half of the semester. In the second week of class, the professor will explain how to prepare for the presentations, which will take place toward the end of the course.