Political History of Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th Century

Final year module

Lecturer: Tim Haughton

This module begins with a lecture on the pre-C20 history of the region (the experience of empire and the rise of nationalism), then proceeds to comparative studies of the new states of CEE in the inter-war period. The remainder of the semester focuses on the subordination of the region to Soviet domination, and compares the diverse national responses to communist rule 1945-1989. The main countries covered are: Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia may be included according to student demand. The main themes are: national identity versus external domination; the linkage between internal (national) and external (international) dimensions of politics in CEE; the relationship between economic backwardness, ethnic conflict, weak statehood and the problems of building democracy in CEE.

Learning outcomes

Students who complete this module will gain a basic understanding of the historical reasons for weak statehood, inter-ethnic tension, and problems of democratic self-government in CEE; will understand the inextricable linkage of internal and external dimensions of politics in CEE, a region chronically vulnerable to imperialist domination by larger powers (Germany and Russia) to the west and east.


  • Two 2,000-word assessed essays (each worth 50%)

Linked modules