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Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Book chapter
The Stolbovo Treaty and Tracing the Border in Ingria in 1617–1618

Adrian Selin.

In bk.: Sweden, Russia, and the 1617 Peace of Stolbovo. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2024. P. 99-118.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Central Europe and the Balkans from the Enlightenment until the Present

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
4 year, 1, 2 module


Course Syllabus


This course will introduce students to the modern history of the area that constituted the Austrian Empire and the Balkan Peninsula – the two regions commonly referred to as Central and Southeastern Europe, frequently presented in contrast to one another, and covering the area from Innsbruck to Istanbul and from Krakow to Athens. The chronological study will encompass the period from the late 18th century until the collapse of socialism and restoration of capitalism. The course will follow the wars, revolutions, restorations, and stagnations of the past 250 years, while also offering a broader perspective on the social and cultural history of the regions.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course seeks to familiarize the students with the area of Europe formerly ruled by the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires, that is, Central and Southeastern Europe. It seeks to examine both the region’s peculiarities and to position it within European and global processes. It begins by explaining the decline and of feudalism and old empires, coupled with the development of capitalism and national movements. It will show how the late 18th century ushered in a new era of popular, social and national revolutions, but how the old structures, despite their decay, managed to persevere throughout the 19th century. The course will additionally show how society and culture transformed at the time, paving the way for the final collapse of the old empires in 1918 and the creation of new states and socio-economic systems. It will then follow the fragile stability of the interbellum, marked by a struggle between various strands of socialism, liberalism, and right-wing authoritarianism, ultimately leading to a short but lethal dominance of fascism in the Second World War. The course will then examine the causes of the initial success of communism and the widespread revolutionary tendencies of the population, to be followed by stabilization, but ultimately stagnation and disillusionment in the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in the system’s collapse in 1989. The course finishes with an explanation of contemporary social processes.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • The causes of the long-term decline of the great empires in the region (Habsburg and Ottoman)
  • The rise and development of national movements and nation states
  • The transition from feudalism to capitalism to socialism, and peculiarities of peripheral (under) development
  • The development of key political ideas (liberalism, nationalism, socialism) and their interplay throughout different national contexts
  • The impact of new great powers in the region (Britain, France, Russia, Italy, etc.) in the past two centuries
  • The major modernizing transformations of the 20th century
  • The recent history of the region and its position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Week 1
  • Week 2
  • Week 3
  • Week 4
  • Week 5
  • Week 6
  • Week 7
  • Week 8
  • Week 10
  • Week 11
  • Week 12
  • Week 13
  • Week 14
  • Week 15
  • Week 16
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Midterm Presentation
    Students are expected to prepare and present a 20-minute presentation on a Central European or Balkan city of their choice. The city is selected in consultation with the lecturer by Week 4. Criteria for grades 9 and 10: The student has formulated an original and relevant research question pertaining to an aspect of city’s past rather than just retelling it, and illustrated the city’s broader significance for a certain aspect of historiography.
  • non-blocking Final Paper
    The students will write a short paper on a topic of their choice. The paper must revolve around a clearly defined research question. It does not have to be based on assigned readings, mandatory or optional, as long as it deals broadly with the topics of history and memory in Central Europe and the Balkans in the modern era. Criteria for grades 9 and 10: The student has formulated an original research question which they answered using available primary sources. 1500-2000 words
  • non-blocking Seminar Participation
    Students are expected to participate in seminars and engage in discussions, as well as ask questions of their own. Class attendance is part of the participation grade. Students are allowed a total of two unexcused absences per semester. Criteria for grades 9 and 10: The students have read the optional readings and utilized them in the discussions, by referring to them or asking questions based on the optional materials. This does not mean that the students are obliged to read all the optional readings, but to show knowledge of them on at least half of the seminars.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.5 * Final Paper + 0.2 * Midterm Presentation + 0.3 * Seminar Participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Offe, C. (2004). Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory Facing the Triple Transition in East Central Europe. Social Research, 71(3), 501–528. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asn&AN=14829447

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Sampson, S. (2011). Integrity Warriors: Global Morality and the Anti-Corruption Movement in the Balkans. Sweden, Europe: SAGE Publications Inc. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.BFD13A79