History of European Diplomacy

Freie Universität Berlin

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of European Diplomacy

  • Host University

    Freie Universität Berlin

  • Location

    Berlin, Germany

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, Government, History, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course surveys the history of European diplomacy since 1814. Napoleon’s conquests created a French Empire that, at its height, stretched from Seville to Moscow. Following the defeat of Napoleon, diplomats and statesmen gathered in Vienna in 1814-15 to restore the old order. However, instead of returning to balance of power politics, they created a Concert of Europe, which was based on a set of informal norms that should henceforth govern relations between states.

    The strength of this new regime was put to a test by liberal national movements that proved difficult to contain as well as various crises caused by the instability of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of a new form of European nation-states (i.e. Italy and Germany). In the end, the character of European diplomacy was profoundly altered, in particular by Bismarck’s particular brand of foreign policy and a new wave of imperialism, but also by the idea of internationalism.

    In 1914, a minor crisis in Sarajevo turned into a European and, eventually, global war. In response, the statesmen taking part in the Paris Peace Conference sought to institutionalize a system of collective security. However, with the advent of new aggressive and belligerent regimes, this endeavor failed miserably. It turned out that Western democracies could not appease Hitler.

    After the Second World War, Great Britain and France both lost their Empire, though each of them in their own way. At the same time, Western Europe tried to further integration on a regional level and, at first, focused on economic integration. Only later on did European states increase integration on a political and diplomatic level as well. The violent break-up of Yugoslavia with its ensuing ethnic tensions and the embarrassing display of European disunity undoubtedly hastened this process.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations