CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours
The course starts with an introduction to understand how the concept of Eastern Europe was born, later followed by discussion on the birth of nation states. Discussion about domestic and foreign policy developments of the Central European states will allow students to understand such 20th century concepts as balance of power, non-aggression treaties, nation states, etnic vs civic nationalism, and cultural autonomy. Histories of three traditional „powers“in the region – Germany, Poland, and Russia – will be particularly discussed in order to understand the political, economic and social processes which afected countries of Central and Eastern Europe directly or vicariously during the era of bipolarity in the 20th century. Domestic and international causes for the World War I and II in the Central Europe will be meticulously analyzed in order to understand catastrophic losses of human lives in this European region, ominously called “Bloodlands”. Features of the authoritarian regimes, their impact of the economic, social and cultural life of society will be explored in order to understand major obstacles for flourishing of liberal democracy prior 1987. To conclude the course domestic factors of the Central European states will be dissected in order to understand what facilitated or obstructed the liberal reform process in the early 1990’s, and utterly transformed once homogenous “Eastern Europe”. Short sketch of the latest developments in Ukraine will be discussed with special emphasis on reasons affecting Russian political and economic development since 2012.
- Teacher: Veiko Spolītis