DUTC2101 - At the crossroads of Europe: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in the 20th and the 21st centuries

Value: 0.5 course units
Ulrich Tiedau
Teaching structure:
two 1500 word essays (25% each) and one unseen two-hour written examination (50%).
Available to: While it is mainly aimed at students of Dutch, the module is open to all students with an interest in the 20th and 21st century history of these two neighbouring countries of the UK. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Module Description:

This is a module about political, social, cultural and economic change in the Benelux countries from the inter-war period to the present. Among the themes covered are: the crisis of democracy in the 1930s; collaboration, resistance and accommodation during the German occupation of World War II; Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourgian post-war politics;  the Cold War and European integration; development of the modern welfare state; cultural revolution and new social movements in the 1960s; linguistic and inter-communal tensions and federalisation of Belgium; and immigration, political populism and the recent 'crisis of multiculturalism' in the Netherlands.

The module aims to:

  • provide a broad survey of the contemporary history of the Benelux states;
  • enable you to place current developments in a historic context;
  • introduce concepts and approaches in the study of contemporary history;
  • help you develop analytical, writing and presentation skills.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

The following textbook, a standard history, provides back-up to the programme (copies of which are held in the College library):

  • Blom, J.C.H. and E. Lamberts (eds.), History of the Low Countries (New York/London: Berghahn Books, 1999, 2nd ed. 2004).

For a shorter survey of the history of the Benelux countries, please check out the following work:

  • Arblaster, Paul, A history of the Low Countries (Basingstoke, 2006; 2nd ed. 2009) (DUTCH H32.51 ARB).

The module uses Online teaching and learning resources that are available on Moodle.