• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest Contemporary Europe, History, International Relations, European Studies, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ben Mercer
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

At the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945, Europe was reduced to rubble. This course examines the troubled history of attempts to re-establish prosperity and democracy in the postwar period. In Eastern Europe, Communist dictatorships claimed to provide a superior political and economic system. In Western Europe, the strengthening of democracy often took a back seat to the demands of the Cold War, the legacies of totalitarianism, the reluctance to decolonise and the prioritisation of economic growth. Protest and dissent - from students, feminists and terrorists – marked both East and West. This course examines the origins and contradictions of contemporary European politics and society in order better to understand the trials and tribulations of Europe in the early 21st century. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the history of Europe since 1945.
  2. Critically evaluate key interpretations of late 20th-century Europe’s social, cultural and political history.
  3. Analyse and integrate primary and secondary sources into written work.
  4. Demonstrate the significance of late 20th-century Europe for today's world.

Indicative Assessment

1,000 word document exercise (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1 - 4]

2,500 word essay (40%) [Learning Outcomes 1 - 4]

Final exam, 3 hours  (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1 - 4]

Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcome 1,2,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


A two-hour lecture and one-hour tutorial per week for 13 weeks (lecture will also be recorded and posted on the course Wattle site).  Students are expected to spend an average of 7 hours per teaching week outside these contact hours preparing for tutorials and completing assessment tasks.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST6240.

Prescribed Texts

Key readings will be supplied through Wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Tony Judt, Postwar. A History of Europe Since 1945 (Pimlico, 2007).

Victoria De Grazia, “A Model Mrs. Consumer,” in Irresistible Empire (2005), 376-458.

Emanuela Scarpellini, “Shopping American-Style: The Arrival of the Supermarket in Postwar Italy,” Enterprise & Society 5 (2004): 652-68.

Kristen Ross, “Hygiene and Modernization,” in Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (1995), 71-122.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4372 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions