School of History

HST5387 – Totalitarianism: Authoritarian Politics in History and Theory, 1920-2003

Module code: HST5387

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 1

Module Convenor: Dr Waseem Yaqoob

This module introduces students to some of the major theoretical and historical approaches to twentieth century authoritarian politics. In particular we will focus on the ways in which the concept of totalitarianism has been theorised, applied and contested by historians, political scientists and philosophers in Europe, America and beyond. How did totalitarianism regimes emerge and function? What is at stake when we talk about totalitarianism, fascism or populism? What can these categories tell us about modern politics? Readings include classic texts and recent scholarship, and cover themes including fascism and communism, technology, racism and colonialism, Marxism, the concept of political religion, and the origins of contemporary radical movements. Combining primary sources with historiographical and theoretical commentary, this module encourages drawing connections between the history and theory of twentieth century politics.

Assessment: Seminar Participation [15%], Book Review (1,000 words) [25%] and Essay (2,5000 words) [60%]
Level: 5