Political Science | East European Politics
Y340 | 3460 | Bielasiak


The breach of the Berlin Wall in 1989 brought forth a new political
euphoria: peace and democracy in the world were the expected
outcomes. But reality proved harsher. In the years since these
dramatic events, East Europe witnessed a bloody war in the Balkans,
the revival of ethnic and national hate in the region, and the return
of former communist parties to power through free elections.
	To explain these events we look at the communist and post-
communist attempts at building new societies in East Europe in the
post-WW II era.   The first part of the course looks at the
background to and the establishment of communism in Eastern Europe,
and at the major crises faced by communist states and their final
breakdown during the "revolutions of 1989."  The second half of the
course looks at contemporary issues of the transition from communism
to democracy, focusing on political, social, economic and
international factors that facilitate or hinder democratic
consolidation.
	Class sessions consist of lectures, discussions, and in-class
exercises.  Requirements include two exams, a short paper on
democratic transition, and class participation. The required
textbooks are Michael G. Roskin, The Rebirth of East Europe, and
Stephen White, Judy Batt, and Paul G. Lewis, editors, Developments in
Central and East European Politics.