'Returning to Europe': Nation, State and Europe in Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe

Final year module

Lecturer: Tim Haughton

Building on the semester 1 module (Political History of Central and Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century), this module introduces undergraduate students to the politics of state transformation, identity and ‘returning to Europe’ in post communist Central and Eastern Europe. It begins with a comparative analysis and interpretation of the 1989 revolutions, followed by thematic sessions on ‘democratic transitions’; economic transformation; re-integration into pan-European institutions; and questions of identity and statehood. Thereafter students follow case studies of specific countries (Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and their successors; Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Baltic Republics, according to student interest) and comparative analysis of key issues (building new states, the politics of citizenship, minorities and regionalism.) The module concludes with analysis of the impact of EU enlargement on domestic political transformation and inter-state relations in the region.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to apply historical understanding gained from the prerequisite module (Political History of CEE in the Twentieth Century) to the analysis of post-communist transformation in CEE; understand the connections between weak statehood, inter-ethnic tension and conflict, radical economic transformation, and problems of ‘democratic transition’ in CEE; understand the interconnections between external and internal dimensions of change in post-communist CEE.


  • Two-hour written examination (100%)

Linked modules