PMCb1109 Post-communist politics

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2022
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 6 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. Marek Rybář, M.A., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. Marek Rybář, M.A., Ph.D.
Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Vlastimil Havlík, Ph.D.
Wed 14:00–15:40 P22
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! POLb1141 Post-communist politics && ! NOW ( POLb1141 Post-communist politics )
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course aims to scrutinize the state of politics in the countries of central and eastern Europe three decades after the fall of the communist regimes. Its focus is on institutions of representative democracy (parliaments, executives, courts, parties and interest organizations, and the media), on frameworks of political competition (constitutions, constitutional developments) and on the critical processes of post-communist politics (legacies of the past, breakdown of the old regimes, accession to, and membership in, the European Union). The course is to demonstrate that politics in the countries of post-Communist Europe has taken dramatically divergent pathways. While structural legacies of the pre-communist and communist eras matter, due attention needs to be paid to the dynamics of post-communism, especially to choices made by the key actors (involving patterns of regime extrication, decisions on party mobilization strategies, media ownership etc.).
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, students will understand political, economic, and social determinants of the breakdown of the old regime, and the functioning of the new political systems including the role of the media in the process of democratic consolidation. They will be able to interpret this knowledge by employing theoretical and analytical tools of comparative politics. This will help them to apply and develop their own cognitive and communication skills.
  • 1. Requisites of democracy (in Central and Eastern Europe): A historical overview
  • 2. Variety of breakdown of communism
  • 3. Constitutions and constitutional courts
  • 4. Dealing with the (Communist) past
  • 5. Non-democratic regimes
  • 6. Political parties and the state
  • 7. Reading week
  • 8. Executive-legislative relations
  • 9. Interest representation, civil society, and political activism
  • 10. (Declining role of) European Union's conditionality
  • 11. Three worlds of post-communism
  • 12. Democratic renewal and democratic backsliding
  • 13. Final exam
  • Sharon L. Wolchik and Jane Leftwich Curry (eds.) Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018.
  • Csaba Nikolényi. Institutional Design and Party Government in Post-Communist Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Sabrina P. Ramet and Christine M. Hassenstab (eds.) Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989 (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Paweł Surowiec and Václav Štětka (2019) Introduction: media and illiberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, East European Politics, DOI: 10.1080/21599165.2019.1692822.
  • Paweł Surowiec, Magdalena Kania-Lundholm & Małgorzata Winiarska-Brodowska (2019) Towards illiberal conditioning? New politics of media regulations in Poland (2015–2018), East European Politics, DOI: 10.1080/21599165.2019.1608826
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussion, quizzes, short analytical papers short papers for class discussions.
Assessment methods
Ten quizzes (multiple choice questions) taken at the beginning of each class (except class One), each up to 5 points. Five position papers (submitted on every other class meeting), each up to 5 points. Final exam, up to 25 points.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2024.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2022, recent)
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