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Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Book chapter
The Stolbovo Treaty and Tracing the Border in Ingria in 1617–1618

Adrian Selin.

In bk.: Sweden, Russia, and the 1617 Peace of Stolbovo. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2024. P. 99-118.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Global Inequality and Economic Institutions in Historical Perspective

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
3 module

Course Syllabus


This course demonstrates that the Cold War is not a merely chronological context, but an epistemological framework essential for interpreting postwar history. We will start from researching competing historiographical accounts of the Cold War. This is to introduce students to the basics of the Cold War while allowing them to keep a critical distance from empirical material. In its core, this course examines the Cold War as a period of both tensions and cooperation across the Iron Curtain from 1946 to 1991. While considering traditional and novel approaches, we will treat the Cold War as a global phenomenon which defined political cultural histories in the East and West. Uncovering economic, technological, environmental, and aesthetical dimensions of the Cold War, we will trace unique biographies of various actors from institutions to individuals, from officials to civilians, from politicians to tourists. Overcoming the dominant understanding of the Cold War as a political rivalry, we will discuss the significance of economic and cultural developments as can be seen in the history of exchange visits, mutual projects, international fairs and exhibitions, scientific cooperation, etc. Such themes as technological and cultural modernity; economic competition; decolonization and technological aid to the Third World; technology transfers and encounters of small actors; and imagining the other are covered within the course as well. Such research optics allows examining trajectories of communism and capitalism in different parts of the globe while revealing international tensions and cooperation. Upon completion of the course, the students will have a firm knowledge of the period and a full-fledged understanding of a manifold of historical approaches. While carefully examining Cold War texts, students will master skills of critical reading, which is especially crucial for emerging scholars. Ultimately, the course will cover topics from cinema to space race in order to demonstrate the dramatic effects the Cold War produced onto various aspects of human activity. This course will interest students specializing in various areas from economics to history.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • interdisciplinary and broad enough the course will be useful many for students with different backgrounds and interests who want to learn about the origins of contemporary phenomenon of global inequality
  • The course will discuss topical methodologies of economic and social history with a particular focus on economic institutions engaging with technological and environmental history.
  • give a solid overview of classical and fresh literature discussing the role of economic institutions in human developments and their roles in making and overcoming global inequalities. It will also provide the attendants with the basic knowledge of key events, names, and dates of global economic and technological history in the 17th-21st century.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Distinguish between different perspectives by drawing on their knowledge of the discipline
  • Practice a range of research skills and scientific methods for studying history
  • Demonstrate a wide range of generic skills, including skills in communication, information processing, teamwork, critical and creative thinking, computing independent learning
  • Take a creative approach to using new and existing technologies for educational purposes
Course Contents

Course Contents

    The Cold War basics; the main approaches to the Cold War; the notion of stereotype and its matter in history and presence
    The notion of atom; the role of atom in the late 20th century
    Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures. Science and Technology in the Cold War
    The Cold War as a form of technology. The Cold War modernity
    The notion of consumerism. The making of modernity in the Cold War
    Main interpretations of the end of the Cold War. The politics and economy. When did the Cold War end up?
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class attendance and Written assignments
    Students are expected to attend both lectures and seminars, regularly do their homework reading and study according to the lists of sources provided by the lecturer. The resources for this class are the primary sources, research literature, lectures, etc. At seminars, students are expected to take active part in the discussion and demonstrate knowledge of the content of lectures and readings. Seminar discussions are based on the previously given readings, and fragments of sources introduced by the teacher and analyzed collectively by the class. During the course, the students have to prepare questions for the paper discussion and write short summaries of read works. Summaries are graded as part of seminar activities. Attendance and levels of participation in class discussions during the seminars influence the final grade. If the student misses more than 35% of class meetings, additional assignment can be provided. In the end of the course students submit a review essay.
  • non-blocking exam
    The exam consists of two parts. First, it is taken in the form if written essay of five – seven pages long. The grade for the exam is made both from the essay and discussion of essays held at the final seminars. The theme of the essay must be defined by the student consulting the instructor and must address an aspect related to the course. The instructions for essays are given below. The criteria for evaluation: -quality of research question(s) -intro to the topic -quality of argumentation -conclusions, their logic and strength -novelty (not retelling of literature or well known facts/conclusions) -connection to the theme of the course Second, the discussion of the essays will be held as part of examination. For the exam talk, please, go through your essay once more and also remember/better read works related to the essay you used. I will ask questions based on the evaluation criteria (for example, about the correlation between the essay topic and inequality, etc). The exam can (or cannot, but will not decrease) increase your final grade. Technical requirements: enter the zoom room https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84375185893?pwd=TUk0VWZEOTBhRUlDM1F0NDlqYU91dz09
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.5 * Class attendance and Written assignments + 0.5 * exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Harvey, D. (2014). Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=752620
  • Hecht, G. (2012). Being nuclear : Africans and the global uranium trade / Gabrielle Hecht. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.38044755X
  • Krige, J. (2006). American Hegemony and the Postwar Reconstruction of Science in Europe. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=176844
  • Rostow, W. W. (1991). The Stages of Economic Growth. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.b.cup.cbooks.9780521400701

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Sanchez-Sibony, O. (2014). Red Globalization : The Political Economy of the Soviet Cold War From Stalin to Khrushchev. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=696274
  • White, E. (2003). Kwame Nkrumah: Cold War Modernity, Pan-African Ideology and the Geopolitics of Development. Geopolitics, 8(2), 99–124. https://doi.org/10.1080/714001035