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BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI R. - Geopolitics and Diplomacy in Europe:from Constantinople to Rome (20h)

The era of European global supremacy began in the fifteenth century and ended in the twentieth. For half a millennium, relations between the European great powers not only shaped the history of the European (sub-)continent, but had profound effects across most of the world. Several times one or other of the powers came close to establishing a continental hegemony or universal empire, only to be defeated by a coalition of other powers. The failure of the Nazi German attempt to create a "Third Reich" resulted in the domination of more than of half of Europe by the USSR, and the dependence of the continent's western states on the protection of the USA.

This course will examine the long period from the fall of Constantinople – "New Rome" – to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 to the signing of the treaty of Rome in 1957 by six European states whose territories approximated to those once ruled by the first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne. It will survey the fall and rise of the major European powers – the Ottoman Empire, Spain, Poland-Lithuania, France, Sweden, the Dutch Republic, Austria, Great Britain, Russia and Germany – considering their geopolitical priorities, their ideologies, and the ways in which they harnessed their economic and demographic potential, as well as the shifting relationships between Innenpolitik and Aussenpolitik.

One recurring theme is that the struggle for mastery in Germany usually involved a struggle for supremacy in Europe; another is the enduring power of imperial Roman symbols. It will sceptically assess orthodox claims that the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648, inaugurated an era in which the principle of sovereignty underpinned interstate relations, an era only finally replaced by systems of collective security in the 1950s.

Besides relations between the great powers, it will also consider unequal relationships between states, and accords reached by strong powers at the expense of weak ones. In addition it will explore the techniques and culture of diplomacy, paying attention to the communication and concealment of information, questions of prestige and protocol, the concept of an "embassy" and the role of summits and peace conferences. It will include simulations of the Congress of Vienna in 1814-15 and the Paris peace conference of 1919-20. // ECTS Card