Perspectives on Security in Cold War Central and Eastern Europe (1945-1989) CEES4041

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This is a Social Science Honours level course taught through Central and East European Studies (CEES). It can be taken as part of the MA Honours Social Science Programme as a primary option for CEES or Politics and as an outside option for other honours programmes. This course examines the place Central and Eastern European security interests within the context of wider Cold War (American, Soviet and West European) interests with a focus on NATO and the Warsaw pact, the nuclear question, political crisis, human rights and dĂ©tente. 


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

Mandatory entry requirements
Entry to CEES Honours normally requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over CEES 2A and CEES 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





■ 3000 word project (75%)

■ Individual Coursework Presentation (10%)

■ Individually written 1000 word written paper associated with presentation (15%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course examines the place Central and Eastern European security interests within the context of wider Cold War (American, Soviet and West European) interests. Taking the end of the Second World War as a starting point, the course aims to:

■ introduce students to over forty years of complex and overlooked concerns and demands of CEE states caught in the middle of an ideological war;

■ focus specific attention on key security related events and developments including the Paris Peace negotiations; the place of CEE scientists in the development of nuclear weapons programmes of the USA and USSR; the creation of the Warsaw Pact; political crisis in the German Democratic Republic (1953), Poland (1956), Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968) and Poland (1981); the Conference for Security Cooperation in Europe and development of the Helsinki Accords, as well as the final days of communism;

■  Offer students an opportunity to develop their transferable skills in communication and analysis (including self-reflection and ethical considerations) which will be relevant to further education and future employment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Define the differing political interests of CEE states throughout the Cold War period;

■ Critically assess the decisions and actions taken by key political elites in CEE in response to wider Cold War events; 

■ Evaluate the role security has played on the development of major events and periods of crisis in Central and Eastern Europe since 1945 and 1989;

■ Compare and contrast the position of the USA/Western Europe and USSR towards CEE between 1945 and 1989;

■ Undertake analysis and provide critical reflection of a variety of visual, audio and written primary and secondary sources;

■ Present knowledge acquired during the course in coherent written and oral manner;

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.