WOMEN AND WORLD POLITICS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
At the start of the twentieth century few women could vote and in many countries had the legal status of children. By the end of the century equality had, in theory, been achieved throughout most of the world and women could be and were world leaders. This course will look at women in politics in a global context, at their substantial achievements and effect upon politics as well as at areas of regression.
The course will examine the reasons for and the effects of the political involvement of women by examining four areas of controversy. First, the Suffrage movements will be examined with international comparisons and a detailed look at the extraordinarily violent British campaign. How effective were they? Second, the role of women in the major total wars of the twentieth century will be studied. Did their mass participation lead to long-lasting changes in status or were the victories short-lived or have other causes?
The effects upon women of the mass radicalised participation and strident ideologies of Nationalist, Fascist and Communist regimes will be the third area of study. Did any of these regimes genuinely improve the lives of women? What were the results of their experimentation? Lastly, the course will consider the position of women in post-war international politics and ask why certain countries and geographical areas, such as Scandinavia, have had much more success in female participation than others. Individual female leaders will be studied to see if any common factors that cross cultures can be discovered.
INTRODUCTION: Women’s suffrage and political rights in the Nineteenth century
Twentieth Century Suffrage
- Female Guerrillas? -The British women’s suffrage campaign
- A hopeless case? – Women in France
- The contradictions of a federal system – the American experience
Women In War
- The legacy of Florence Nightingale – the ‘womanly’ face of war
- The First World War – a test for citizenship?
- The Second World War – total conflict and combatant women
- Women and the century’s civil wars – benefiting from chaos?
Women, Ideology and Political Regimes.
- Nationalism – mass politics and citizenship
- Fascism – equal but different?
- Communism – the promised land attained?
- Post-war regimes – learning from history?
States and Statecraft
- Women as leaders – ‘Honorary Men’ or consensus politicians?
- States, Culture and Geography – the factors that affect female participation
- Case study – e.g. Margaret Thatcher
- Conclusions: A lasting and genuine impact?
- To provide an understanding of the Dictators’ rise to power
- To explain how they held on to that power
- To understand the relationship between contemporary democracies and dictatorships
- To demonstrate, orally and in written form, a knowledge and understanding of the ideologies of the dictators
- To read widely and critically
- To develop, sustain and illustrate an argument
- To complete a weekly assignment
All students must fulfil formal assessment requirements. These consist of:
- Weekly class assignments (60%)
These will normally take the form of essays or documentary analysis. The completed work will be examined and discussed with the tutor in weekly individual tutorials.
- Class participation (40%)
Students are required to attend all group and individual sessions and will be expected to participate fully in all class activities and discussions. Where appropriate this will also involve preparatory reading of recommended texts.
This class is normally delivered over one term, with 90 teaching contact hours or equivalent in the Michaelmas term, and 60 teaching contact hours for Hilary and Trinity terms. For students requesting credit, we recommend the transfer of three college credits for Michaelmas and two college credits for Hilary and Trinity, on successful completion of the class.
The list below is for guidance and to supply some ideas for preliminary reading. We recommend that you do not purchase the books on this list before arrival and certainly not all of them; most should be available from a good library. Your tutor will recommend the most appropriate books for purchase at the first class of term.
Margaret Walters, Feminism: A very short introduction
Martin Pugh, The Pankhursts
Martin Pugh, Women and the Women’s Movement 1914-1959
Margaret Higgonet and Jane Jenson, eds., Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars
Joshua Goldstein, War and Gender