For centuries mankind has longed for peace and for peaceful solutions to conflicts, but only in the last centuries peace has been perceived as an achievable political aim: this way the idea of war abolition has become conceivable; associations devoted to peace (and pacifism as a sort of peace party) emerged, along with the development of international organizations aimed at banning war and promoting peace-keeping operations. The course gives a historical introduction to the peace issue as one of the nodal points in contemporary politics up to the beginning of the 21st Century. It is devoted to the international history of peace ideas, peace movements, and peace institutions.
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Fruizione: 21810386 INTERNATIONAL HISTORY OF PEACE in Politiche per la Sicurezza Globale: Ambiente, Energia e Conflitti LM-52 A - Z MORO RENATO


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 organisations 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

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.