Module Identifier IP39520  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Jennifer Mathers  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   14 Hours (14 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment Course work   2 x 3,000 word essay (50% each)   100%  

Brief description

This module provides an historical overview of the rise and fall of Communist Party rule in the countries of Eastern Europe and an opportunity to examine their political development since the end of the Cold War.


The aim of this module is to examine the changing nature of politics in the countries of Eastern Europe from the end of the Second World War through the collapse of Communist rule and the post-Communist transition.


This module will begin by examining the political traditions in the region and the ways in which Communist parties came to power and remained in power in the period immediately following the end of the Second World War. Attempts at political reform under Communist rule will be assessed and the degree of political pluralism which was possible before the late 1980s will be evaluated. The impact of Gorbachev on the region will be examined and the long-term and immediate causes of the revolutions of 1989 will be discussed. The module will conclude with a close look at the differing political experiences of countries in Eastern Europe since the collapse of Communist rule, considering such questions as the systems of government chosen by these states, the impact of EU enlargement on the region, and the role of nationalism in these countries in the aftermath of the Cold War.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:
· Discuss the different ways in which Communist parties came to power in this region following the Second World War
· Discuss similarities and differences in the Communist political systems of the countries in this region
· Analyse the causes of the revolutions of 1989
· Evaluate the progress which the states of Eastern Europe have made in their transition from Communist rule

10 ECTS Credits

Transferable skills

Students taking this module will have the opportunity to develop and practice a wide range of transferable skills. In lectures students will develop listening and notetaking skills. In preparation for seminars students will develop their reading, notetaking and analytical skills. In seminars students will be required to do short (2-minute) presentations to the rest of the group to develop their presentation skills. In addition seminar discussions will help students to develop their listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team work and problem solving. The essays which the students will write to form their assessment will encourage them to develop their independent research, writing and IT skills.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Paul G Lewis. Central Europe since 1945.
Vladimir Tismaneanu. The Revolutions of 1989.