|Course Title||History and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe (1945 to the present)|
|Institution||Buryat State University|
This course is an introduction to one of the most
exciting areas of study in the last decade: the politics and societies of
Central and Eastern Europe. Until the fall of the "Iron Curtain" in 1989,
the CEE region was a mystery to most students of comparative politics and
international relations. Many social scientists viewed it as a monolith
and the politics and societies of Soviet satellites as static. On the
contrary, as this course demonstrates, there was a range of political and
cultural adaptation to communism in CEE before 1989. Similarly, there have
been notable differences among these countries in the strategies and
outcomes of democratic transition since 1989.
To understand the nature of these differences, we will
begin with an examination of inter-war politics followed by the communist
takeover of Central and Eastern Europe after 1945. We will then
trace the development of communism in the region, emphasizing important
events such as the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the Prague Spring of
1968 and exploring the rise of opposition movements in the 1980s. Our
analysis then turns to the causes, meanings, and effects of one of the
most memorable events of the twentieth century – the "velvet revolutions"
of 1989 that brought an end to four decades of communism in the CEE
The second half of the course investigates a number of important themes relevant to the on-going processes of political, economic, and social change in CEE. In the final weeks of the course, we will consider where these changes may be leading, with special attention to old "ghosts," new forces in politics, and the integration of Central and Eastern Europe into NATO and the European Union.
The list of required readings is given below. You can find the books on reserve in the CECI resource room (room 712). It is your responsibility to arrange copying required parts of the books. Note that you cannot copy entire books, only the pages given as an assignment.
1) Vladimir Tismaneanu. Reinventing Politics: Eastern
Europe from Stalin to Havel. Free Press, 1994.
You also have a course reader available in room 712. Articles from the reader are marked with an *.
There will be three writing assignments for this course.
Details about the assignments will be provided in class.
1) A short (3-5 pages) position paper about the meaning
of the revolutions of 1989. This paper will critically analyze the
interpretations found in Part II of The Revolutions of 1989 and discussed
Your grade will depend on the following things:
Regular participation in class is essential. This means coming to class prepared, having read all assignments, and contributing to class discussions.
Topics and Readings:
Week 1: Introduction to the course and to the region
CEE map quiz.
Week 2: The Communization of East Europe
Tismaneanu Preface and Ch. 1; *Milan Kundera, "The Tragedy of Central Europe" in reader.
* Volgyes, "The Legitimating Ideology" (pp. 107-126 & 294-308); start reading Milosz, The Captive Mind.
Week 3: Stalinism and Totalitarian Rule in East Europe.
Tismaneanu Ch. 2, Milosz entire book
Week 4: The Decay of Communism and the Prelude to Revolution
* Bekes, "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Great Powers"
Tismaneanu Ch. 3
Week 5: The Rise of Civil Society in East Europe
Tismaneanu Ch. 3 (Solidarity)
Tismaneanu Ch. 4
Week 6: The Revolutions of 1989
Work on first short paper and read The Magic Lantern
Tismaneanu Ch. 5; Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern entire book
Week 7: The Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989, Part I "Causes"
Tismaneanu Ch. 7, Epilogue, and Afterword
Week 9: The Transformation of Political Institutions
* Elster, Offe, and Preuss, Ch. 3 "Constitutional politics in Eastern Europe," 63-93
* Agh, Ch.5 "The Role of Political Parties: Political Culture and Electoral Behaviour"; Aleksander Smolar, "Poland’s Emerging Party System," Journal of Democracy, vol.9, no.2 (1998) 122-133, found on-line at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_democracy/v009/9.2smolar.html
Week 10: The Transformation of Political Elite
* Higley, Kullberg and Pakulski, "The Persistence of Postcommunist Elite"; ** Gallagher, "A Feeble Embrace: Romania’s Engagement with Democracy, 1989-94"
* Havel & Klaus, "Rival Visions"; * Garton Ash, "Prague: Intellectuals and Politicians"; * Wolchik, "The Politics of Ethnicity in Post-Communist Czechoslovakia"
Week 11: Dealing with the Communist Past
Rosenberg, Introduction and Part Three
Rosenberg, Parts One and Two, last section "Haunted Lands"
Week 12: Social and Economic Transformation
* Cox and Mason, "The State-Managed Economy and Social Relations under the Old Regimes"
Week 13: The Integration of East Europe into NATO and the European Union
* Odom, "NATO’s Expansion: Why the Critics are Wrong"; * Herspring, "After NATO Expansion: The East European Militaries"; and * Haerpfer, et al. "Old and New Security Issues in Post-Communist Eastern Europe"
* Mayhew, Ch. 8 "Preparing for accession: problems for the associated countries"
Week 14: Prospects for the Consolidation of Democracy in East Europe
* Rose, et al., Ch.10 "Completing Democracy
Havel, Summer Meditations entire book