HY232GC      Half Unit
War, Genocide and Nation Building. The History of South-Eastern Europe 1914-1990 (Spring Semester)

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Anita Prazmowska SAR M.09


This course is available to General Course ‘Spring Semester’ students.

Course content

The course aims to explain the history of these regions as expressed and moulded by the peoples and their leaders during a particularly turbulent period in European History. Attention will be paid to the consequences of the Second World War on the region. Soviet control over Eastern and South Eastern Europe had a profound impact on these countries' freedom to determine their destiny.  The Yugoslav-Soviet conflict will be considered as part of the discussion of the Soviet mechanisms of control.  A debate on the German Democratic Republic will form part of the course.  The invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops will be discussed in order to understand reformist movement in a Communist state.  The course will develop key themes in the history of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania and the Baltic States. Final lectures will concentrate on the transition from Communism to democratic states. The break up of Yugoslavia and the wars in the Balkans will be considered in a separate lecture.


Recorded lectures. Classes will be on campus or via Zoom, as circumstances dictate. There will be a reading week in the Lent term.

Formative coursework

One essay in the LT and a timed essay as exam preparation.

Indicative reading

R J Crampton, Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century (1994); P G Lewis, Central Europe since 1945 (1994); T Rakowska-Harmstone, Communism in Eastern Europe (1979); G Swain & N Swain, Eastern Europe since 1945 (1993); F Fejto, A History of the People's Democracies; Eastern Europe since Stalin (1971); J Rothschild, Return to Diversity. A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II (1990); G Stokes, The Walls Came Tumbling Down. The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe (1993).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills