HØEK03331U From the Zoo to the Jungle, and to Europe: Central European Political Developments in a Historical Perspective

Volume 2015/2016

Master’s elective in Central European Studies, The 2015 curriculum

KA i Russisk sprog og kultur, 2008

Ka i Østeuropastudier, 2008

KA i Tværkulturelle studier, 2009/2015

The course is part of the elective MA programme in Central European Studies, but it is open to all interested students at MA level, including international exchange students.


After the devastations of the Second World War Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary were turned into ‘people’s democracies’ and, within only a few years, to communist dictatorships firmly controlled by Moscow. Attempts to overthrow or transform this order were met with Soviet military intervention (Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968), or with martial law (Poland 1989). A combination of international and domestic factors finally led to the collapse of communism in Central Europe in 1989. Despite being branded as a ‘return to Europe’, the transformation of the three states (four after the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993) into democratic regimes with open market economies and pro-European foreign policies represented an enormous challenge and a leap into uncharted waters.

The course offers a survey of these transformations with a special focus on communist rule and the dismantling thereof in politics, including foreign policy, economy, and society at large. We will discuss if today, twenty-six years after the fall of communism, we can also declare the end of post-communism. Though primarily focusing on contemporary history, our approach will be multi-disciplinary and so we encourage students to employ their hopefully diverse BA backgrounds to shape the analysis and the discussions.

Learning Outcome

MA Central European Studies, 2015
Political Developments in a Historical Perspective (HØEK03331E)

KA i Russisk Sprog og kultur, 2008:
Valgfag (HRUK03371E)

KA i Østeuropastudier, 2008:
Særligt studeret emne I (HØEK03211E)
Særligt studeret emne II (HØEK03231E)
Emne B: Fri fagdisciplin (HØEK03241E)

KA i Tværkulturelle Studier, 2009/2015
Regional specialisering (HTÆK03021E)
Aktuel tematisk problemstilling (HTÆK03051E)

The course curriculum will be announced in Absalon in August.

The course is taught in English, and all readings will be in English
Lectures, including guest lectures with speakers from the region, discussions and student presentations.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Guidance
  • 2
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 368,5
  • Total
  • 412,5
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment