EGO406 Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2020
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 8 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. PhDr. Vít Hloušek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Oldřich Krpec, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Vít Hloušek, Ph.D.
Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Olga Cídlová, DiS.
Supplier department: Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Mon 14:00–15:40 U42
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
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to assess the development of Central and East European democracies (i.e. the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and the Baltic countries) over the period of the last two decades. While special attention will be paid to political changes in the region after 1989, major social and economic developments will be discussed as well. Students will thus familiarize themselves with a complex set of issues that have influenced the current way of life in the studied countries. During the lectures and seminars, students will be encouraged to think about many interrelated questions, for example: How were these countries influenced by EU accession? What difficulties did they meet on their road to democracy? What are the main trends in their current political, social and economic development? Answering such a wide range of questions requires usage of analytical tools of both political science and contemporary history approaches.

At the end of the course students should be able to assess the relevance of the concept of Central Europe. They should understand the internal political dynamics of CEE countries and should be able to explain its periodization. Generally, students should be able to analyze the main trends of economic, social and political development in CEE and compare the different pathways of development in the studied countries.
  • 1. Introductory session – the concept of Central Europe
  • 2. Central European political traditions
  • 3. “Annus Mirabilis” and the “Carnival of Revolution”
  • 4. Fragmentation of multinational states – Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia
  • 5. Transformation to a market economy in the 1990s
  • 6. Renewal of political pluralism and its enemies
  • 7. SEMINAR on the problems of de-communization
  • 8. The building of political institutions: political systems of Central and Eastern European countries
  • 9. The Eastern Enlargement of the EU and its political implications in Central and Eastern European countries
  • 10. SEMINAR on Europeanization of Central European party politics
  • 11. “New Europeans” between stability and change
  • 12. SEMINAR on Central and Eastern European societies
  • Central and southeast European politics since 1989. Edited by Sabrina P. Ramet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. xxxiii, 56. ISBN 9780521888103. info
  • BEREND, T. Iván. From the Soviet bloc to the European Union : the economic and social transformation of Central and Eastern Europe since 1973. 1st pub. New York [N.Y.]: Cambridge University Press, 2009. xv, 299. ISBN 9780521729505. info
  • Central and East European politics : from Communism to Democracy. Edited by Sharon L. Wolchik - Jane Leftwich Curry. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. xiv, 389. ISBN 9780742540682. info
  • Return to diversity : a political history of East Central Europe since World War II. Edited by Joseph Rothschild - Nancy M. Wingfield. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. xii, 274. ISBN 9780195334753. info
Teaching methods
The coursework includes lectures, seminars and oral presentations. Students are expected to write three position papers (8000-9000 characters including spaces each plus list of references) for seminar lessons.
Assessment methods
The final written test will be composed of 4 large open questions.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2021.
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