Cold Wars Old and New: Resistance to the 20th Century World Order 授業の内容 Contents

In the first semester, the course covered how the major powers at the end of World War II established a late-20th century world order. In the second semester we look at the various ways the world order has been resisted by emerging powers (Russia, China, and others), smaller nations, citizen groups, indigenous groups, and large-scale independence movements.


The daily cycle of reporting in the mass media tells citizens about many urgent problems in the world: environmental destruction, financial crises, and conflicts over religion, ethnic identity and resources. However, for young people this news can be a flood of meaningless information because it is usually presented in short reports without historical context. In this course we will attempt to overcome this problem by tracing the roots of our contemporary world order, and resistance to it, back to the post-World War II period.


During the fourteen sessions of the course we will take a regional approach to the subject, discussing case studies of independence movements, decolonization, systems of aboriginal government (state within a state), federalism, and protest movements that envision a different sort of world order made of different economic and political systems. This will all be studied within the context of the Cold War, especially in the political turmoil of the United States in the 1960s and its relation to struggles over natural resources and ideologies.

Students will note that this topic is extremely broad. The choice to do general coverage of a broad topic will give students many options in the specific aspects of the topic that they want to cover in their final projects due at the end of the course.

The final project consists of a research report about one independence movement, presented to the class toward the end of the semester. Ideally, there should be many voices heard in the classroom, but for discussions to be successful, students must do background readings and come to each class with informed opinions and questions.

Topics and Regions to be Covered

Sovereignty of Indigenous People in North America

The Unique History of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The IMF, the World Bank and US$ hegemony after 1945

The Non-Aligned Movement

The American Coup d'Etat: The United States in the 1960s

The historical fiction film Queimada: a lesson in imperialism, slavery, insurgency and counter-insurgency

Africa: Congo, Burkina Fasso, Rwanda and others

Latin America: Cuba, Nicaragua and other countries

Vietnam and Indochina

Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua

The New World Order: Independence and Sovereignty since the end of the Cold War

Preparation outside of class

Students should do assigned readings or film viewings each week and find research materials related to the course on their own initiative.


1. Participation and attendance: 30%

2. Preparation for participation:30%

3. Presentation: 40%

履 修者への要望 Advice

A very high proficiency in English is not required, but students should have some ability to discuss this complex topic. Students will need more than the ability to do "daily conversation" and they will need to be seriously motivated to use and improve their English. If students complete assignments on time, do background reading, participate in class and make thoughtful contributions to discussions, they will succeed.

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