Political and cultural history


This course, which covers the period between the Enlightenment and the late 20th century, aims, first of all, to highlight the main concepts of politics (State, nation, powers, ideas and political ideologies...) and culture (religions, mentalities, arts, sensibilities, cultural practices...) as well as their evolution since 1750, and secondly, to place in perspective much of the knowledge taught at Sciences Po Bordeaux, especially in general knowledge and political science classes. Given the length of the period studied, the course is organized chronologically and will primarily but not exclusively focus on the history of the West. The course is structured around several key themes: the Ancient Regime and the Enlightenment (1750-1789); the era of the revolutions (1770-1820); the main political ideas of the 19th century; the key cultural and religious developments since the 19th century; the political regimes and main ideologies of the 20th century; the making of the contemporary world since 1945, in its cultural and political aspects.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

To acquire more in-depth knowledge, the works listed in the bibliography are essential readings. Students should receive knowledge passively. In addition, René Rémond's “Introduction à l'Histoire de Notre Temps’’ is compulsory reading (see bibliography).


  • Asselain (Jean-Claude), Delfaud (Pierre), Guillaume (Sylvie et Pierre), Mougel (François-Charles), Précis d’histoire européenne, XIXe-XXe siècles, Paris, Colin, 2000.
  • Berstein (Serge), Démocraties, régimes autoritaires et totalitarismes au XXe siècle, Paris, Hachette, 1992.
  • Berstein (Serge), Milza (Pierre), Histoire de l’Europe contemporaine, 2 vol. (XIXe et XXe siècles), Paris, Hatier, 1992.
  • Ory (Pascal), dir., Nouvelle histoire des idées politiques, Paris, Hachette, 1987.
  • Rémond (René), Introduction à l’histoire de notre temps, 3 vol. (l’Ancien Régime et la Révolution, le XIXe et le XXe siècles), Paris, Seuil, 2002.

Educational formula

Each session is delivered using PowerPoint slides (course outline, proper names, place names, maps, iconographic documents of all kinds). A detailed outline of each chapter, as well as chronologies, factsheets, bibliographic references and links to useful internet sites will be made available in advance on a Moodle class space.

In brief

Year First year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 36.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Houdayer Corinne

Educational manager :
Trouvé Matthieu [+]