The course will focus on the most important political dynamics at work in Central and Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War. Particular emphasis will be placed on democratization, nationalism, ethnic conflicts and Russian foreign policy.
Introduction: Political History of the Region from 1945 to the Re-unification of Germany:
Berend I. (2009), Central and Eastern Europe 1944-1993. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
As an alternative: Judt T. (2005), Postwar. A History of Europe since 1945. London, Vintage Books: pages: 27-40; 129-148; 165-225; 250-254; 309-323; 422-447; 559-643.
Topic 1 - Transition to Democracy:
Kitschelt K., Z. Mansfeldova, R. Markowski and G. Toka (1999), Post-Communist Party Systems. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: chapters 1, 2.
Darden K. and A. Grzymala-Busse (2006), "The Great Divide: Literacy, Nationalism and the Communist Collapse" World Politics 59(1): 83-115.
Topic 2 - Ethno-nationalist Conflicts: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Caucasus, Ukraine:
Posen B. (1993), "The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict" Survival 35(5): 27-57;
Wilhelmsen J. (2005), "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Islamisation of the Chechen Separatist Movement" Europe-Asia Studies 57(1): 35-59;
Petersen R. (2002), Understanding Ethnic Violence. Fear, Hatred, and Resentment in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: chapters 2, 3, 4, 10;
Costalli S. and F. Moro (2012), "Ethnicity and Strategy in the Bosnian Civil War: Explanations for the Severity of Violence in Bosnian Municipalities" Journal of Peace Research 49(6): 801-815;
Zhukov Y. (2007), "Examining the Authoritarian Model of Counter-insurgency: The Soviet Campaign against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army" Small Wars and Insurgencies 18(3): 439-466;
Duffy Toft M. and Y. Zhukov (2015), "Islamists and Nationalists: Rebel Motivation and Counterinsurgency in Russia's North Caucasus" American Political Science Review 109(2). 222-238;
Souleimanov E. and D. Siroky (2016), "Random or Redistributive? Indiscriminate Violence in the Chechen Wars" World Politics 68(4): 677-712;
Stronski P. (2015), "Broken Ukraine. The Mess Isn't All Russia's Fault" Foreign Affairs 17 March 2015, available at: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/eastern-europe-caucasus/2015-03-17/broken-ukraine;
Glaurdic J. and V. Vukovic (2016), "Voting after War: Legacy of Conflict and the Economy as Determinants of Electoral Support in Croatia. Electoral Studies 42(1): 135-145.
Topic 3 - Russian Foreign Policy:
Mandelbaum M. (1995) "Preserving the New Peace: The Case against NATO Expansion". Foreign Affairs 74(3): 9-13;
Tsygankov A. (2016), Russia's Foreign Policy. Change and Continuity in National Identity. Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield: chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6;
Wohlforth, W. and V. Zubok (2017), "An Abiding Antagonism: Realism, Idealism and the Mirage of Western-Russian Partnership after the Cold War" International Politics 54(4): 405-419.
Topic 4 - Central and Eastern European Populisms:
Kriesi H. (2014), "The Populist Challenge" West European Politics 37(2): 361-378;
Pop-Eleches G. (2010), "Throwing out the Bums: Protest Voting and Anti Establishment Parties after Communism" World Politics 62(2): 221–60;
Pirro A. (2014), "Populist Radical Right Parties in Central and Eastern Europe: The Different Context and Issues of the Prophets of the Patria" Government and Opposition 49(4): 600-629;
Hiers W., T. Soehl and A. Wimmer (2017), "National Trauma and the Fear of Foreigners: How Past Geopolitical Threat Heightens Anti-Immigration Sentiment Today" Social Forces 96(1):1-28.
Knowledge: Advanced understanding of the founding political dynamics of the area.
Abilities acquired at the end of the course: High degree of confidence in dealing with advanced empirical research in comparative politics and international relations; Critical evaluation of scholarly literature.
Capacity to apply the knowledge acquired: conduct basic research and produce working papers; Present pieces of research with appropriate technical and oral skills.
Basic knowledge of XX century European history, comparative politics and international relations.
The course will take the form of seminars. Following an introduction structured as a lecture, students are expected to discuss the topic of the day and give presentations. Reading class material in advance is thus essential to participate successfully in the course.
Students have to register on the EMoodle
platform (http://e-l.unifi.it/ ask professor for the password) and
download the material that the teacher will be posting on it.
Special attention will be devoted to specific important needs (such as students with disabilities that are unable to attend the course).
Modalità di verifica apprendimento
- In class presentation: 25% of the grade;
- Long abstract (Max. 1000 words) of a research paper: 25% of the grade;
- Final research paper (Max 6000 words, including references): 50% of the grade.
Students who do not regularly attend class (or attending students who prefer this procedure) will be assessed through a final written exam on all readings (2 hours).
COVID-19 UPDATE: IN JUNE AND JULY 2020 THE EXAMS WILL TAKE PLACE ONLINE AND AN ORAL EXAM WILL SUBSTITUTE THE WRITTEN EXAM. NOTHING CHANGES FOR THE STUDENTS WHO OPTED FOR WRITING THE RESEARCH PAPER.
Students can either take an oral exam online, or a written exam in person.
Nothing changes for the students who opted for writing the research paper.
Programma del corso
The course is structured in four parts. After an introduction to the main historical events of the region during the Cold War, the first part of the course will focus on the processes of democratization that took place in the Central and Eastern European countries in the 1990s and on the role of nationalism in this framework. The second part of the course will be devoted to studying the causes, dynamics and consequences of ethno-nationalist conflicts that occurred in the area. The third part of the course will take into account the evolution of the Russian foreign policy after the end of the Cold War, while the last part of the course will present some recent studies on the spread of populist movements in the region.