Political History of 20th Century EUROPE
Fall Term 1995
Erik Jones
Troy McGrath
Department of International Relations and European Studies
Central European University

Course Description

The purpose of the course is to introduce the political and economic history of the 20th Century in order to explain the transition from the state system of the 19th Century to the present-day system of nation-states. The course will introduce the concept of liberal democracy as a paradigm for political and economic organization in contrast to right- and left-wing authoritarian models.

The course will meet over an eleven week period, with two lectures and one group discussion period per week. Students will be asked to prepare short reading assignments (c. 100 pp.) and to write brief essays (c. 500 wds.) on the readings for every second week. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation (20 percent), short writing assignments (40 percent) and final examination (40 percent). The course is organized around a small number of basic texts and supplemental reading materials.

Basic texts:
Craig, Gordon A.. (1972). Europe Since 1914. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, third edition.
Gilbert, Felix and David Clay Large (1991). The End of the European Era, 1890 to the Present. New York: Norton, fourth edition.
Joll, James (1990). Europe Since 1870: An International History. New York: Penguin.
Lacqueur, Walter (1993). Europe in Our Time: A History, 1945 - 1992. New York: Penguin.
Roberts, J.M. (1989). Europe: 1880-1945. London: Longman, second edition.

Supplementary readings:
Calleo, David P. (1982). The Imperious Economy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Gourevitch, Peter (1986). Politics in Hard Times: Comparative Responses to Economic Crises. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Kindleberger, Charles P. (1986). The World in Depression, 1929 - 1939. Berkeley: University of California Press, revised and enlarged edition.
Schlesinger, Arthur M. (1957). The Crisis of the Old Order. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Course Outline

Week 1. The Great War and the Dawn of the Age of Nations (EJ/TMG)
a) Self Determination and the Liberal Market Economy
b) The Russian Revolution and the Communist International

Week 2. Vacillation 1919 - 1932 (EJ/TMG)
a) Economic Nationalism and the Great Depression
b) Authoritarianism from Left and Right

Week 3. Conflict 1932 - 1945 (EJ/TMG)
a) Social Democracy, Popular Fronts and New Deals
b) Isolationism, Appeasement, and the Second World War

Week 4. From Conflict to Division 1945 - 1949 (EJ/TMG)
a) Reconstruction, Currency Reform, and the Economic Division of Europe
b) The New World Order and the Origins of the Cold War

Week 5. Division 1950 - 1957 (EJ/TMG)
a) Warfare States to Welfare States
b) Decolonization and the New Imperialism

Week 6. Division 1957 - 1968 (EJ/TMG)
a) Technology, Terror, and the End of Ideology
b) Movement behind the Iron Curtain: Budapest to Berlin to Prague

Week 7. Acceptance 1968 - 1979 (EJ/TMG)
a) Social Change and Economic Crisis
b) Detente, Ostpolitik, and the Vietnam Syndrom

Week 8. Rejection 1979 - 1985 (EJ/TMG)
a) The Thatcher Revolution: Neoliberalism
b) The Reagan Revolution: Anticommunism

Week 9. Rejection 1985 - 1989 (EJ/TMG)
a) Franco-German Entente and the Relaunching of Europe
b) Gorbachev and the Reform of the Soviet Empire

Week 10. Consolidation 1989 - 1991 (TMG/EJ)
a) The Velvet Revolutions and the Monopolar World
b) The Economic Consequences of the Peace

Week 11. Consolidation 1991 - Present (TMG/EJ)
a) Democratization and Ethnic Nationalism in East-Central Europe
b) Indecision, Anomie, and the New Isolationism

CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: April, 1996


Back to the IR&ES Syllabi List Back to the Syllabi Collection

Back to the CRC Homepage Back to the CEU Homepage