PLEASE NOTE! This course was held in 2015, new courses will be arranged in 2017
The course is designed for advanced undergraduates or Master’s level students of humanities and social sciences.
This course offers an overview of the current challenges of social and political development in Eastern Europe. Taught by a group of area studies experts in history, political science, media studies and sociology, the course views Eastern Europe as including the former Eastern Bloc countries, i.e., the Baltic states, East Central and South-Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Ukraine. Russia is discussed only as a reference point to the area of our concern: there won’t be any specific lectures on Russian developments.
The course provides students with new, multidisciplinary approaches to the study of politics and society with a focus on issues that hinder democratic conduct. Addressed will be questions of nationalism, populism, corruption, authoritarian rule, poverty, the Roma situation, politics of history, cultural policy, civil society and environmental problems. In order to get a better grasp of Eastern European challenges in today’s globalised world, the course offers insights into recent history and post-communist transition.
The students will gain a broad overview of current societal and political developments in the region. The purpose is also to discuss critically the concept of democracy, which is sometimes understood normatively. The students will be acquainted with new multidisciplinary approaches and innovative pedagogical methods to understand the complexity of politics and society in this area. The course will also provide supplemental information for students looking to specialise in subjects and fields of research covered by the course. Ongoing cutting-edge research projects, carried out at the University of Helsinki, will be introduced by visits to several research centres.
Course format and teaching methods
The course entails a total of 30 hours of teaching with various activating learning formats, such as lectures, flipped classroom, debates and small workshops. We apply new methods that promote critical thinking and discursivity. Every lecture includes mandatory pre-reading, and the class format will contain a 60-minute lecture and a 30-minute workshop. The syllabus with course readings will be disseminated to students before the course begins.
Teachers and lecturers
Dr Katalin Miklóssy (Aleksanteri Institute, Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, University of Helsinki), one of the founding members of the Teachers’ Academy of the University of Helsinki, is responsible for the planning of the course. Other teachers include researchers affiliated with the Aleksanteri Institute and the Departments of Political and Economic Studies, and of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Helsinki.
Means and criteria of assessment
Attendance, course readings and final exam. Grading is based on attendance, participation in discussions and completion of the required assignments and the final exam. Grading scale: 5 = excellent 4 = very good 3 = good 2 = average 1 = poor 0 = fail.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated January 22, 2016