Nationalism, State Consolidation, Politics of Identity in Post-Communist Europe CEES3010

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This is a Level 3 course taught by Central and East European Studies. This course discusses concepts and issues around the political management of ethnic diversity in contemporary Central and Eastern Europe


One 2 hour class per week

This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the CEES Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Grade D in Central and East European Studies or cognate social science Level 2.

Excluded Courses



Examination: 90 minute exam with students answering two out of four questions (30%).


Essay: 2,500 - 3,000 word essay chosen from a list of four questions (40%).


Oral Assessment: Assessment of class participation based on attendance and contribution to class discussion (10%). This is particularly with respect to the weekly research assignments. Students will be expected to research a small, distinct topic each week and be ready to discuss it in class. Students who demonstrate a critical engagement with the topics, and who demonstrate wide reading and research, will obtain high grades in this category. The final mark is therefore based on both quantitative participation (class attendance, evidence of having completed the reading/tasks, contributing to class) and qualitative participation (the quality of their engagement with the discussion). 


Assessed Group Presentation: Students will work in groups of 4-5 to research and produce a short class presentation on a designated topic (20%).

Course Aims

This course discusses concepts and issues around the political management of ethnic diversity in contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, with particular reference to the relationship between nationalising states, national minorities, 'external national homelands' and the emerging 'minority rights regime' promoted by the EU, OSCE, Council of Europe and other international agencies. The course will focus in particular on state- and nation-building processes and their implications in the Baltic States (esp. Estonia and Latvia), Russia and Ukraine (up to and including the current crisis), as well as exploring the relationship between Hungary and Hungarian minorities living in neighbouring states (Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine)

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to:


■ Understand and analyse critically key theories relating to concepts of statehood, nationhood and nationalism in Europe

■ Analyse the experience of different case study countries within the framework of broader debates around statehood, nationality and democratisation in post-communist Europe, with particular reference to the work of Rogers Brubaker

■ Explain the particular course of state and nation-building within different case study countries, and the ways in which representatives of non-dominant ethnic groups have responded to their changed socio-political circumstances following the end of communism

■ Explain how 'kin states' / 'external national homelands' (e.g. Russia, Hungary) have influenced relations between states and non-dominant groups during the post-communist era

■ Deploy competent argument in an extended piece of essay work and be discerning in the use of source material, including statistical data

■ Show capacity both for independent research and for effective group discussion and, within this context, make succinct and coherent oral presentations to an informed audience

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.