Foto del docente

Marco Puleri

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Academic discipline: SPS/06 History of International Relations


History of Eastern Europe - Start of Classes (Scienze Internazionali E Diplomatiche)

The classes of the course 'History of Eastern Europe', which was previously held by prof. Privitera, will start on Monday, April 12 at 14:00. Below you can find more information on the new programme of the course and the schedule of our classes. This information will be soon available also on the course webpage.




Course contents


The course explores the political and social history of East-Central Europe in the XX and XXI centuries. The main focus of the lectures will be devoted to the communist and post-communist experience, since WWII to nowadays (i.e., going from the establishment of the Communist regimes up to their collapsing at the eve of the 1990s and the formation of the contemporary post-communist geopolitical scene). Methodologically, the course is structured following a chronological approach, and will be developed around two major modules:


  1. Introductory Module (Class 1-8)


Empires and Nations in East-Central Europe in the early XX century: A Historical and Conceptual Background


The introductory module will introduce students to the historical background and heterogeneous composition of the region, with a particular attention to the origins of Russian Imperial and Soviet experience up to 1945, and some relevant theoretical issues, such as: modernization and State building processes; cultural identity, national question and self-determination.


2) Thematic Module (Class 9-17)


Communism and Post-Communism in East-Central Europe


The thematic module will introduce students to ECE and Balkan political history since WWII to nowadays. A specific focus will be devoted to developments in the Soviet Union, first, and the post-Soviet scene after 1991.




(Course outline is subject to change according to the focus of in-class discussions)

Introductory module:


  1. 12 April (14-17) - Introduction to the course
  2. 13 April (11-14) - Mapping Eastern Europe: Geography and People
  3. 15 April (17-20) - Nations and Nationalism: A Theoretical Framework
  4. 16 April (14-17) - Empires and Nations in East-Central Europe: Between the National and Social Questions
  5. 19 April (14-17) - The Tsarist Empire: A Multiethnic History
  6. 20 April (11-14) - Ethnocultural Frame, Imperial Rule and the Question of Modernity
  7. 22 April (17-20) - The Russian Revolution: The Bolshevik Way to Self-Determination
  8. 23 April (14-17) - The Rise of the Soviet Union


Thematic module:


9) 26 April (14-17) - East-Central Europe in the Interwar Period

10) 30 April (14-17) - The Soviet Victory in World War II: Revolution and Different Roads to Socialism in East-Central Europe

11) 3 May (14-17) - Cold War and The Stalinisation of East-Central Europe

12) 7 May (14-17) - The Soviet (and Communist) Experience and Its Crisis: An Economic, Social and Political Evolution

13) 10 May (14-17) - Remapping the Post-Communist Space

14) 14 May (14-17) - Post-Communist Russia: In Search of New Roots

15) 17 May (14-17) - East-Central Europe in the XXI Century: Between the EU and Eurasia

16) 24 May (14-17) - The Ukraine Crisis

17) 27 May (17-19) - East-Central Europe Today: Evolution and Perspectives




Compulsory Readings/Bibliography:


  1. Introductory module:


  • R. G. Suny, The Soviet Experiment: Russia, The USSR, and the Successor States, New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011 (Selected pages: xvi-xx; 3-187; 235-290; 307-362).


  • Readings available on Virtuale:


S. Bottoni, Long Awaited West: Eastern Europe Since 1944, Bloomington (IN): Indiana University Press, 2017 (selected pages: 1-9).


Florian Bieber, Debating Nationalism: The Global Spread of Nations, London-New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020 (selected pages: 35-66).


Dorde Tomic, “From ‘Yugoslavism to (Post-)Yugoslav Nationalisms: Understanding Yugoslav Identities”, in R. Vogt, W. Cristaudo, A. Leutzsch, European National Identities: Elements, Transitions, Conflicts, New York: Routledge, 2014 (selected pages: 271-292).


2) Thematic module:


  • Geoffrey Swain and Nigel Swain, Eastern Europe since 1945, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  • R. G. Suny, The Soviet Experiment: Russia, The USSR, and the Successor States, New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011 (Selected pages: 363-548).


Additional reading for students who cannot attend regular classes:


  • Igor Stiks, Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship, London-New York: Bloomsbury, 2015.


Teaching methods:


Each class will be opened by the professor. The topics can be debated with the students on the basis of the provided materials (e.g. videos, photos, music).



Assessment methods:


The assessment of the acquisition of expected knowledge and abilities by the attending students is based on the following levels: two tests and/or papers (one per each module) and a final oral exam.


More in details:


1. The fist test (worth 25% of the final grade) consists in a written examination based on the readings provided for the introductory module. It is based on a 3 questions/free answers. The test will last 120 minutes.


In case, students could not attend the test, they will be required to be assessed for the specific module at the oral exam. The same, in case of a possible failure of the test (less than 18/30).


2. Short essay (max 5000 words, including footnotes and references, worth 50% of the final grade);


The short essay must revolve around the thematic module and follow a conceptual or country-based approach. The topic chosen by the student will be previously agreed by the instructor.


The short essay must be emailed to the instructor in either .doc or .pdf format no later than one week (7 days) prior to the day of the final oral exam. Essays submitted beyond that deadline will not be marked.


3. Final oral exam (worth 25% of the final grade).


The oral exam is articulated through a discussion of the case study chosen by the student for her/his essay and/or the topics discussed in the first module (see readings available on Virtuale).


The oral exam is aimed at testing the student's ability to verbally articulate themes and methods discussed in class, offering the student the opportunity to show her/his ability to critically reassess such material.


In case of missing the deadline for the short essay, the whole readings will be assessed during the oral exam.




Teaching tools:


The attending students will be provided with power point presentations and additional material (e.g. videos, music, photos) analysed during the classes.

Published on: April 10 2021