Topic outline

  • An Introduction to Central and Eastern Europe

    Welcome to the Jagiellonian University’s online course focused on Central and Eastern Europe.
    Below you will find 10 lectures given by a range of our top academic instructors, dedicated to diverse topics which are organized into three thematic categories:
    1) CEE in Context: Identity, History, CEE in the World,
    2) CEE: Politics and Economy,
    3) CEE: Culture, Heritage and Society.

    Each video lecture is from 35-50 minutes in length, and is meant to introduce listeners to specific topics in the CEE subject area. The lectures are supported by short outlines and bibliography for further reading. We wish you a fruitful journey through these diverse and interesting topics!

    About the course     (more)
    • CEE in Context: Identity, History, CEE in the World

      Prof. Zdzisław Mach
      CEE in Context: Identity, History, CEE in the World
      The aim of this lecture is to debate the roots and outcomes of a specific CEE identity. Recent developments, influenced by systemic transformation, democratisation and Europeanisation are discussed. The process of change is perceived form two different angles – as an adaptation to institutional structures of the European Union, and a system of norms and values. Among the key questions addressed in this lecture are: Does CEE have a common identity? If so, are there any distinguishing features of this identity? Have collective identities in CEE been subject to change through overlapping processes of transformation, eastern enlargement and Europeanisation?
      For further reading:

      • Mach Z. (2007). ‘Constructing Identities in a Post-Communist Society: Ethnic, National and European’, in Fahy Bryceson, D., Okely, J., Webber, J. (eds), Identity and Networks. Fashioning Gender and Ethnicity Across Cultures, Berghahn Books: Oxford: 54-72.
      • Sztompka P. (2004). ‘From East Europeans to Europeans: shifting collective identities and symbolic boundaries in the New Europe’, European Review, Vol. 12, No. 4: 481–496.
      • Dixon, J.C. and Fullerton, A.S. (2014). ‘For and against European Union expansion: Examining mixed opinion on enlargement and specific countries’ entries’, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, October 2014 55: 357-378.
      • Blokker P. (2006). ‘The Post-enlargement European Order: Europe ‘United in Diversity’?’, European Diversity and Autonomy Papers – EDAP.
      Waldemar Skrobacki, PhD
      CEE in Context: Identity, History, CEE in the World
      This lecture is an overview of the change that has been taking place in Europe since 1945. The lecture points out the main direction of the change {stability, prosperity and democracy} and briefly explains its impact on the Old Continent. Because the change is thorough and sweeping, Europe becomes a new continent. Hence the title of the lecture: the Old-New Continent.
      For further reading:

      • Simms, B. (2013). Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present, Basic Books: NY.
      • Bond, B. (1998). War and Society in Europe 1870-1970 (War & European Society), McGill-Queen’s University Press: Montreal.
      • Bomberg E., Peterson J., Corbett R., (2012) The European Union: How Does it Work? Oxford
      • Collins B.J., (2011) NATO: A Guide to the Issues (Praeger Security International) Praeger
      Prof. Paul Vincent
      CEE in Context: Identity, History, CEE in the World
      In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt proposed that a totalitarian regime is founded upon a combination of ideology and terror. Assuming the accuracy of her analysis, how were these concepts applied in Nazi Germany and how was the process of coordinating all social interaction perceived by the average non-Jewish citizen of the Reich? How was the regime perceived by those at the top? How did ideology and terror serve to undermine the dignity attached to human freedom, numb self-awareness, and atomize German society? These are among the key issues addressed in this lecture.
      For further reading:

      • Childers, T. and Caplan, J. (eds) (1993). Reevaluating the Third Reich. Holmes & Meier: New York.
      • Evans, R. (2005). The Third Reich in Power. Penguin: New York.
      • Gellately, R. (1990). The Gestapo and German Society: Reinforcing Racial Policy, 1933-1945. Oxford University Press: New York.
      • Kershaw, I. (2000). Hitler. 2 volumes: 1889-1936: Hubris and 1936-1945: Nemesis. Norton: New York.
      • Rees, L. (2013). Hitler's Charisma: Leading Millions into the Abyss. Pantheon: New York.
    • CEE: Politics and Economy

      Prof. Marek Kucia
      CEE: Politics and Economy
      The lecture outlines the political geography and history of relations between the European Union (EU) and Central and Eastern Europe, that is, the countries that were ruled by communists until 1989–91, entered in association with the EU in the 1990s, were promised accession into the EU in 1993, and became EU new member states in 2004, 2007, and 2013. The lecture discusses “Europe agreements” establishing association, the Copenhagen criteria of EU membership, and negotiations on EU accession.
      For further reading:

      • Crampton, R.J. (1997). Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, Second Edition. Routledge: London.: Chapter 22, ‘The Revolutions of 1989–91’, 391–418.
      • Dinan, D. (2004). The Road to Enlargement, in Green Cowles, M. and Dinan, D. (eds), Developments in the European Union 2. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, chapter 1, 7–24.
      • Nugent, N. (2004). The EU and the 10 + 2 Enlargement Round: Opportunities and Challenges, in Nugent, N. (ed), European Union Enlargement. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 1–21.
      • Nugent, N. (2004). The Unfolding of the 10 + 2 Enlargement Round, in Nugent, N. (ed), European Union Enlargement. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 34–55.
      Prof. Zdzisław Mach
      CEE: Politics and Economy
      The aim of this lecture is to outline the major social and political processes that determined social life in CEE countries under communist rule. In doing so, the main features of the communist state and communist society – as they were functioning in CEE countries – are explained. Special emphasis in this lecture is given to an explanation of the totalitarian character of the communist state and its impact on social structures and dynamics of social interactions in CEE societies.
      For further reading:

      • Rupnik, J. (1989). The Other Europe. The Rise and Fall of Communism in East Central Europe. Revised Edition. Pantheon Books: New York.
      • Brown J. F. (1988). Eastern Europe under Communist Rule. Duke University Press: Durham, NC and London.
      • Ekiert, G. (1996). The State Against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.
      • Rothschild, J. (2008). Return to Diversity. A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II. 4th edition, revised with additions by Nancy Wingfield, Oxford University Press: New York, Oxford.
      • Simons, T.W. Jr. (1991). Eastern Europe in the Postwar World. 2nd Edition. Palgrave Macmillan: New York.
      Joanna Orzechowska-Wacławska, PhD.
      CEE: Politics and Economy
      The lecture provides a general overview of two mayor economic processes that revolutionized the face of Central Europe during last 25 years. The first is the process of political and economic transition from socialist centrally-planned economies that operated within the communist regime to market economy existing within the framework of democratic political system. This part of the lecture focuses on initial conditions, strategies and outcomes. Special attention is given to Poland and Hungary, which serve as prime examples of two very different strategies of transition. The second process is economic integration and the challenges related with the membership of Central European Countries in the EU. In this section Dr. Orzechowska-Wacławska shortly characterizes the milestones of the accession process, and concentrates on profit-cost analysis, trying to determine what where the ex ante and what were the ex post estimates of Central Europe’s EU Membership.
      For further reading:

      • M. Bruno, Stabilization and Reform in Eastern Europe: A Preliminary Evaluation (in:) O.J. Blanchard, K.A. Froot, J.D. Sachs, The Transition in Eastern Europe. Volume 1: Country Studies, National Bureau of Economic Research, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1994, pp. 19-49.
      • World Bank, Transition – The First Ten Years: Analysis and Lessons for Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, Washington, DC, 2002.
      • European Commission, Five years of an enlarged EU. Economic achievements and challenges, European Economy, 1/2009.
      Marcin Galent, PhD.
      CEE: Politics and Economy
      The presence of large numbers of migrants often leads to the identification of conflicting interests, leads to social tensions and can lead to open conflict. Regardless of the scale of the phenomenon, to date no Community instrument has been created to help ease the very real existential problems. The absence of such programs is not in the interest of Europeans, hinders dialogue and, despite all of the obvious fruits stemming from the mobility of EU citizens, has led to a fall in support for the whole process of integration. It seems that it is high time for a shift in our understating of the borderland in contemporary European and to decide whether such a redefinition could improve programs supporting European integration. This lecture touches upon these issues and aims at pointing towards possible solutions.
      For further reading:

      • Bommes M. and Sciortino G. (eds.), Foggy Social Structures. Irregular Migration, European Labour Markets and the Welfare State, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2011.
      • Burrell, K., Staying, returning, working and living: Key themes in current academic research undertaken in the UK on migration movements from Eastern Europe. Social Identities, 16 (3), pp. 297-308, 2010.
      • Galent M., Goddeeris I., Niedźwiedzki D, Migration and Europeanisation. Changing identities and values of Polish pendulum migrants and their Belgian employers, Kraków: NOMOS 2009.
      • Glorious B., Grabowska-Lusinska I., Kuvik A. (eds.), Mobility in transition. Migration patterns after EU enlargement, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2013.
    • CEE: Culture, Heritage and Society

      Katarzyna Zielińska, PhD.
      CEE: Culture, Heritage and Society
      The studies on post-socialist transformations in Central and Eastern Europe mostly focus on the shifts occurring in the political, economic and social spheres in the context of ongoing democratisation. The lecture aims to enrich those interpretations by looking at these changes through the "lens of gender". The first part discusses briefly the emancipatory project of the socialist regime and its ambiguous outcomes. The second part describes and offers some explanations of the shifts observed in gender norms and identities in post-1989 Poland.
      For further reading:

      • Fidelis, Malgorzata. 2004. Equality through Protection: The Politics of Women’s Employment in Postwar Poland, 1945-1956”. Slavic Review 63 (2): 301–24.
      • Gal, Susan, i Gail Kligman. 2000. Reproducing Gender: Politics, Publics, and Everyday Life After Socialism. Princeton University Press.
      • Galligan, Yvonne, Sara Clavero, i Marina Calloni. 2007. Gender Politics and Democracy in Post-Socialist Europe. Barbara Budrich.
      • Moghadam, Valentine M. 1995. Gender and Revolutionary Transformation: Iran 1979 and East Central Europe 1989. Gender and Society 9 (3): 328–58. doi:10.2307/190059.
      • Penn, Shana, i Jill Massino. 2009. Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist Eastern and Central Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
      • Watson, Peggy. 1993. „Eastern Europe’s Silent Revolution: Gender”. Sociology 27 (3): 471–87. doi:10.1177/003803859302700300
      Krzysztof Kowalski, PhD.
      CEE: Culture, Heritage and Society
      In the context of increasing interest in a common European heritage this lecture proposes reflections on its conceptual roots and use at national and European levels. Europeanization of national lieux de memoire is exemplified by the intergovernmental and Union "European Heritage Label" initiative. The case of the Gdańsk Shipyards is discussed in the context of European semiotization / Europeanization of this national lieu de memoire.
      For further reading:

      • Oriane Calligaro, ch. Using and Negociating European Cultural Heritage in: Oriane Calligaro "Negotiating Europe. EU Promotion of Europeanness since the 1950s", Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013, pp. 79-116
      • Delanty Gerard, The European Heritage from a Critical Cosmopolitan Perspective, “LSE ‘Europe in Question’ Discussion Paper Series”, London School of Economics, 2010 (luty), nr 19, ss. 1 – 19.
      • Heinich Nathalie, La fabrique du patrimoine. De la cathédrale à la petite cuillière, Paris, Editions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 2009.
      • Markus Tauschek, The Bureaucratic Texture of National Patrimonial Policies in: Bendix Regina F., Eggert Aditya, Peselmann Arnika (eds), Heritage Regimes and the State, Göttingen, Universitätsverlag Göttingen (Göttingen Studies in Cultural Property, vol. 6), 2012, pp.165-212.
      • Tismaneanu Vladimir, Fantasies of Salvation. Democracy, Nationalism, and Myth in Post-Communist Europe, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1998
      • Smith Laurajane, Uses of Heritage, London, Routledge, 2006
      Prof. Jonathan Webber
      CEE: Culture, Heritage and Society
      This lecture is an introduction to a course that I run at the Centre for European Studies on the subject of the Jewish heritage of Polish Galicia (southern Poland). This territory had an extremely dense Jewish population before the Second World War, which was almost completely wiped out during the Holocaust. However, there are many physical traces of that Jewish past that have survived---empty synagogue buildings, for example, or abandoned Jewish cemeteries, as well as Holocaust memorials dotted around the countryside. What this course is about is how to make sense of these ruins of the past. For example, how do local people cope after a genocide? What memories of the past do they try to preserve, and what gets forgotten? In particular, what is it that gets shown in local museums about the vanished Jewish culture of this region? What are their assumptions about the nature of the Jewish heritage, today often reconstructed also by tourist and other local agencies? The course is intended for interdisciplinary students---no prior knowledge of Jewish culture is required, nor anthropology, nor museum studies, although the course dips into all those fields.
      For further reading:

      • Clark, David, Developing Jewish Museums in Europe (London: Institute for Jewish Policy Research, 1999).
      • Craddy, Kate, Jewish Museums, in Kate Craddy, Mike Levy, and Jakub Nowakowski (eds), Poland: A Jewish Matter (Warszawa: Adam Mickiewicz Institute, 2010), pp. 143–52.
      • Gruber, Ruth Ellen, Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), pp. 155–79 on Jewish museums.
      • Heimann-Jelinek, Felicitas, Thoughts on the Role of a European Jewish Museum in the 21st Century, in Richard I. Cohen (ed.), Visualizing and Exhibiting Jewish Space and History (Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 26), (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 243–57.
      • Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, Theater of History, in Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Antony Polonsky (eds), Polin: 1000 Year History of Polish Jews (Warsaw: Museum of the History of the Polish Jews, 2014), pp. 19–35.
      • Webber, Jonathan, Rediscovering Traces of Memory: The Jewish Heritage of Polish Galicia (Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, for the Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków, 2009).
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