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Předmět, akademický rok 2017/2018
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Economy and Politics in the 20th Century Eastern Europe - JMM143
Anglický název: Economy and Politics in the 20th Century Eastern Europe
Zajišťuje: Katedra ruských a východoevropských studií (23-KRVS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2017
Semestr: zimní
Body: 6
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:kombinovaná
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:1/1 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: 15 / 15 (15)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: Mgr. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D.
Vyučující: Mgr. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D.
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D. (12.09.2017)

The course covers the time range of 1945-2010 (or, more precisely, from the end of the WWII to the World Financial Crisis). Its main aim is to explore political economy of the area, divergencies and convergencies in the countries' developments. It should not be a history of the region. Territorially, it deals with the East Central European countries excluding former Yugoslavia (the country will be covered only to the extent of its interaction with other socialist countries. The course applies general concepts to the reality of the Central and Eastern Europe. Thematically, the course is divided into two parts, with the relations and conditions within the socialist bloc being tehe first part and the post-socialist reality as the second. The course should give to the students the ability to apporach the affairs in the Central Europe in their complexity, critically evaluate the differences and common points of the countries within the region.
Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D. (19.09.2016)

Please, note that any instance of plagiarism (use of other people's thoughts, ideas without referencing them etc.) leads instantly to the "fail" mark in the whole course and the case is sent to the Disciplinary board of the Faculty of Social Sciences (or your home university). Using your own paper for more than one course is regareded as self-plagiarism. 

Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D. (03.10.2016)

We are not on the high school, therefore, lecturing should be a minor part of our work. Students are expected to read asserted papers and be able to discuss them. Everyone has to be able to say something, critically assert what was read and bring his own ideas. There are no silly questions (except for "What's the time?"), so, do not hesitate to ask about anything. There are also not silly remarks or questions.

There are no prerequisities for previous economic training or any particular knowledge of the central Europe events in the past. The papers will be chosen to be accessible also for non-economists. Only your ability to read, think and ask questions is expected. On the contrary, contribution from other fields might be especially enriching. 

Požadavky ke zkoušce - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Ondřej Svoboda, Ph.D. (24.09.2014)

Reading will be the first and foremost obligation. The course should help you to understand what happened in Central Europe after WWII from the political economy point of view. Therefore active participation in the discussions will be essential. As stated above, everybody should be able to say something (nothing like "I do not know..."), because our classes may be only as good as active you are. 

Furthermore, oral presentation on the topic chosen from the list provided by the instructor. The presentation should be 10-15 minutes, built on solid data. It should support author's view. The form (powerpoint or not) is on the author's prefernece. 

The test is a part of the final exam. The test itself covers the most important terms, dates and definitions. It examines basic understanding and knowledge of the factual basis. 

The final paper will be based on the "take home exam" principle. On a particular day, you will be given a question and you will have to write an answer to it in 24 hours. Originality of your ideas, ability to develop your argument and structure your paper will be the most important parts of the evaluation. You may use books, the internet, and databases for your paper. The paper should be 5-6 pages long (9000 characters including spaces).

In case of any uncertainty, please, do not hesitate and contact me via email (svobodak@fsv.cuni.cz) or come and see me during my office hours (will be specified). 


Berend, Ivan,  From the Soviet Bloc to the European Union The Economic and Social Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe since 1973, Cambridge, 2009.

Brown, Archie, The Rise and Fall of Communism, London, 2009.

Drahokoupil Jan, Myant Martin, Transition Economies: Political Economy in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, John Wiley and son, 2011.

Eichengreen, Barry, The European Economy since 1945 (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2008).

Judt, Tony, Postwar, London, 2006.

Kornai, Janos, The Socialist System: Political Economy of Communism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).

Kovács, János, Tardos, Marton, Reform and transformation in Eastern Europe, London and New York, 2005.

Rotschild, Joseph, Wingfield, Nancy, Return to Diversity, A Political History of East Central Europe Since World War II, Oxford, 2000.

Stone, Randall, Satellites and Commissars, Strategy and Conflict in the Politics of Soviet Bloc trade, Princeton, 2002.

Turnock, David, The Economy of East Central Europe, 1815-1989, London and New York, 2006.

Wagener, Hans Jurgen (ed.), Economic Thought in Communist and Post-Communist Europe, London, 1998. 

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D. (12.09.2017)

  1. 5 October Introduction to the course,
    1. Basic outline
    2. Some specifics of Eastern Europe, interwar Central and Eastern Europe
  2.  12 October War legacies.
    1. Is war really an economic disaster or it is some sort of opportunity? Why did the countries in the East ended in the communist bloc and the Western countries did not? Why the countries grew so quickly? Was planning unique only for Central and Eastern Europe?
    2. Holly Case, Reconstruction in East-Central Europe: Clearing the Rubble of Cold War Politics, Past and Present, 2011, supplement.
  3. 19 October The autarkic model of economy:  What was the logic in it?
    1. Why the Soviet Union pushed for a higher degree of industrialization in the Eastern countries. Were the regimes imposed by Soviets? Was there any economic rationale in the autarky? Did the external environment play some role for centrally planned economies?
    2. Ludwig von Mises, Economic calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, http://mises.org/pdf/econcalc.pdf 
  4. 26 October Reforms in the socialist economies - squaring a circle?
    1. The end of the extensive growth? The problem of quality of goods. Czechoslovak Prague Spring, Hungarian NEM etc. Was socialism reformable or von Mises was right?
  5. 2 November Real existing socialism
    1. "goulash" socialism as a system
    2. High socialism in its pure form. Turn towards more consumer oriented economies instead of the previously investment oriented. Programs of imports of Western technologies to revive growth. Contacts with the West and intensified cooperation within the CMEA.
  6. 9 November - no class 
  7. 16 November Cooperation inside the Bloc
    1. CMEA as a framework for cooperation or an arena of clashes? Did the Soviet Union subsidize Central Europeans? Why Soviets did that then?
  8. 23 November The crisis of the system and the fall of communism in Europe. 
    1. Final stage of the system. What happened to the planned economies of Eastern Europe? Did perestroika cause the fall? How the countries pursued their own perestroikas, 
  9. 30 November Transformations in CEE 
    1. Complete changes of the functioning of the political-economic systems. Why some countries adopted hasty transformations while the others followed a gradual path? Was the transformational recession really so deep?
  10.  7 Decmber Privatizations and the problem of growth of negative tendencies (crime etc.)
  11. 14 December The financial crisis and Central Europe
    1. Why the countries performed so differently?
  12. 21 December Illiberal capitalism? Recent turn from liberal approaches in the central Europe (not only)





Introduction to the course,



War legacies.



The autarkic model of economy:  What was the logic in it? –



Reforms in the socialist economies - squaring a circle?



"goulash" socialism as a system






Collapse of the bloc



The financial crisis and Central Europe



Transformations in CEE



Privatizations and the problem of growth of negative tendencies (crime etc.)



Vstupní požadavky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D. (04.09.2016)

As already mentioned, there are no entrance prerequsities, except for sufficient command of English, as we will read and discuss papers in English. Furthermore, oral presentations are also made in English. 

Economic training (or training in political economy) is a plus, but not necessity. Nevetheless, the course should analyze such topics as a daily life, culture and habits, mentalities, so anybody interested is invited. 

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