GV439      Half Unit
Government and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Vesselin Dimitrov


This course is available on the MSc in European and International Politics and Policy, MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science (Conflict Studies and Comparative Politics) and MSc in Political Science (Political Behaviour). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is not controlled access. If you request a place and meet the criteria, you are likely to be given a place.

Course content

The course provides an analytical assessment of the transition from communism to liberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and integration with the European Union, including the Eurozone. The course offers an in-depth analysis of institutions, party systems, government and public administration, nationalism, and EU integration, including the Eurozone. Topics covered include: The Communist system. Constitution-making and the development of democratic party systems. Reform of executive institutions and public administration. (Mis)management of ethnic conflict: the case of Yugoslavia. Integration with the European Union, including the Eurozone.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 32 hours in the Winter Term and Spring Term.

There will be a reading week in Week 6 of the WT for private study and formative/summative assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

Students are required to produce two essays in the Winter Term.

Indicative reading

V Dimitrov, K H Goetz and H Wollmann, Governing after Communism: Institutions and Policymaking; A Przeworski, Democracy and the Market; H Grabbe, The EU's Transformative Power: Europeanization through Conditionality in Central and Eastern Europe; J Elster et al, Institutional Design in Post-Communist Societies; R Taras (Ed), Postcommunist Presidents; R Crampton, Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, 2nd edn; S White, P G Lewis and J Batt (Eds), Developments in Central and East European Politics 5.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the spring exam period.

Student performance results

(2020/21 - 2022/23 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 44.2
Merit 55.8
Pass 0
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2023/24: 7

Average class size 2023/24: 7

Controlled access 2023/24: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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