Through advanced didactics such as seminars, class discussions and presentations of individual research project, this course aims to provide students with the analytical tools necessary for a critical understanding of the evolution of the international system since the late Eighties, especially through of the evolution of the concept of international security. Therefore, particular attention will be given to conflict management and international crises, as well as to the emergence of new forms of threat and finally, the difficulties encountered by national states and international and supranational organizations in forging widespread consensus around the instruments with which to intervene in time of crisis to preserve security and stability.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course analyzes the History of International Relations from the mid 1980s till the Obama Administration (with some hints to the more recent years).

The main topics of the course are:
- End of the Cold War
- German reunification
- Iraq-Kuwait 1990-1991 war and the international reaction
- collapse of Jugoslavia
- the crisis in Somalia
- Rwanda genocide
-the crisis in Kosovo
- 9/11 attacks and War on Terror
- evolution of arms control and challenges related to nuclear weapons

The focus of the course will be on the kind of international reactions in each crisis, the behavior of the main players of the international system (national states, organizations and alliances, coalitions, non-state actors) and on the evolution of the threats to the security during the period analyzed (mid 1980s; 1990s, and the first decade of the XXI century).

Core Documentation

extbooks compulsory for ALL (attending and non-attending students)

1) Antonio Varsori, Le relazioni internazionali dopo la guerra fredda, 1989-2017 (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2018)
2) Giuseppe Mammarella, Europa e Stati Uniti dopo la guerra fredda (Bologna: Il Mulino)

3) two short readings, available at the Cartoleria "4 Appunti", via G.Chiabrera (excerpt from the book: Ennio Di Nolfo, Storia delle relazioni internazionali // and excerpt from the book: Odd Arne Westad, La guerra fredda globale)


ATTENDING students (Frequentanti)

In addition to these books (Varsori; Mammarella; and the two short readings), compulsory for all, students attending classes have to study readings (articles and books) assigned by the professor during the course.


Students non-attending classes (STUDENTI NON FREQUENTANTI):
In addition to these books (Varsori, Mammarella, and the teo short readings that are compulsory for all), students non attending classes have to CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THREE OPTIONS and write a paper following the instruction listed in the "Valutazione" section:

1) ASIA (2 books)

- Bill Emmott, Asia contro Asia. Cina, India Giappone e la nuova geografia del potere (Milano: Rizzoli, 2008)

and one between the following two:

- Barbara Onnis, La Cina nelle relazioni internazionali. Dalle guerre dell' Oppio a oggi (Roma: Carocci, 2011)

- or: Sumit Ganguly, Storia dell'India e del Pakistan. Due paesi in conflitto (Milano: Bruno Mondadori, 2004), pp. 1-16 -and from 94 to the end


- Pierre Hassner e Justin Vaisse, Washington e il mondo. I dilemmi di una superpotenza (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2004)
- New Book: Chollet & Goldgeier, America between the wars. The misunderstood years between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Start of the War on Terror. From 11/9 to 9/11 (2008)

3) ONU

- Paul Kennedy, Il Parlamento dell'Uomo. Le Nazioni Unite e la ricerca di un governo mondiale (Milano: Garzanti, 2007)

Type of evaluation

Students who don't attend classes (NON FREQUENTANTI) have to study the program in the traditional way, and they will take the oral exam in one of the available exam sessions. Students regularly attending classes (FREQUENTANTI) will be graded on: - active participation during the course (attendance + participation during the discussions about readings assigned by the professor) 20% - oral presentation of a specific book, in the framework of a team-working experience (30%) - writing a group report, based on the books assigned to each student by the professor (30%): min.3.500/max. 4.000 words for the whole group. + oral exam based on the compulsory textbooks for everybody (Varsori; Mammarella; + the 2 readings which will be available on Moodle and at the Cartoleria "4 Appunti", via Chiabrera )20% The NON-attending students are requested to get in touch with the professor before taking the exam. They have to study on the following textbooks: - Varsori; Mammarella; + the 2 readings available on Moodle and at the Cartoleria "4 Appunti", via Chiabrera (see the related section for more details) They also have to write a reflection paper (max 800 words) on one of the three subjects (ONU, United States, China) described in the "Text" section. The paper will have to be submitted according to the following schedule: - 15 May for the summer session (June/July) - 31 July for the fall session (september) - 20 December for the winter session (January/February)