Europe: The New World Power or a Continent in Crisis?

Will Europe become the New World Power, taking over essential parts of America’s foreign policy role under the Trump presidency? Or is Europe just a continent in crisis? Examining in detail the recent history of Europe (from 1914 to today) and the challenges it currently faces, from ‘Brexit’, Putin and Erdogan, we ask: just what is Europe’s role and influence in the globalised 21st century?

This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.


  • Gaddis, John Lewis, The Cold War (London: Penguin, 2007);
  • Judt, Tony, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 (London: Pimlico, 2007)
  • Laqueur, Walter, The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)
  • Mazower, Mark, Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century (London: Penguin, 1999)
  • Thornton, Bruce, Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow Motion Suicide (New York/London: Encounter Books, 2009)


  • Introduction: Overview of the course topics and the suggested reading. What are Europe’s actual challenges and what is Europe?
  • Europe’s history in the twentieth-century, from World War I to the end of World II in 1945
  • A divided Continent: The Cold War years in Europe, 1945-1991 and a new Cold War in Europe
  • The European Union – a supranational project under threat: The British ‘Brexit’, the Euro crisis, the unsolved refugee problem, the rise of right wing movements, the threat of terrorism attacks, Putin and the Ukraine, the problematic Turkey-EU relationship.
  • Review and outlook: Europe’s role and future in a globalized world

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop a better understanding of Europe’s actual political challenges;
  2. Gain a better knowledge of Europe’s culture, politics and society;
  3. Develop an awareness of the variety of ways historians approach the past;
  4. Gain a sense of the excitement of studying history.

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list by clicking .