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Předmět, akademický rok 2022/2023
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Central Europe: Ideologies and Politics (1700's - present) - JTM335
Anglický název: Central Europe: Ideologies and Politics (1700's - present)
Český název: Střední Evropa: ideologie a politika (1700-současnost)
Zajišťuje: Katedra ruských a východoevropských studií (23-KRVS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2022 do 2022
Semestr: zimní
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:2/2, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: 10 / 10 (15)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
4EU+: ne
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D.
Mgr. Marcela Janíčková
Vyučující: Mgr. Marcela Janíčková
David Lee Robbins, Ph.D.
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Anotace -
Poslední úprava: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D. (10.09.2020)

European students may have an impression that they went over the period of 17th – 20th centuries in Central Europe in great detail.

However, the purpose of the course is to provide novel interpretations of Central Europe and its dynamics.

The study of Central Europe has been misleadingly neglected in both Western Europe and the U.S. Prior to 1945, the cultural and geo-political construct of "Central Europe" comprised Germany, the (former) Hapsburg Empire (Austria, the Czech lands, Hungary, Slovenia), and Poland. After 1945, the Cold War displaced this "Central Europe" concept by redividing the continent into Communist "Eastern Europe" and non-Communist "Western Europe," Even now, decades after the end of the Cold War in 1989, the older conceptual formation of "Central Europe" has not quite been recovered as a geographic, cultural, and analytic category. Instead, we often hear about "East Central Europe" or "East Europe and the Balkans."

Yet Central Europe, through its multiculturalism, resistance to political consolidation, and other characteristic regional dynamics, has foundationally influenced the shape of 21st-century Europe.

There, in "Enlightenment" ideas were institutionalized in state structures and practices. There, ethnic nationalism arose and prospered, and from there spread continent- and world-wide. There, the practices of the paternalistic welfare state were initiated and tested. There, Marxism and Communism first provided a popular alternative to economic, political, and diplomatic exploitation by "capitalists" who through unrepresentative institutions maintained control over their states and some even over entire empires.

We shall examine the above by focusing on the Austrian Empire and interactions between the "ruling" ethnicities and the secondary ones, the division being that the language and culture of the ruling nations was the language and culture of the state (in our case German vs. Czech).

Students can also participate in the following trips at their own cost:

TRIPS - voluntary, students will cover the cost

Imperial castle Karlštejn and a hike in the vicinity (trip to Great America and Mexico limestone quarries)

Concentration camp Terezín (day trip)

Dresden, Germany

Medieval silver-mining town Kutna hora and a Bone chapel (Ossuary) in Sedlec

visit of glassworks and Museum of Glass in Jablonec nad Nisou (includes participation in a jewelry/Christmas decoration workshop)

two-day trip to Southern Bohemia: medieval town of Cesky Krumlov, Cistercian monastery Golden Crown and a nice hike through the countryside

hiking trip to Bohemian Paradise (Rock town of Hruboskalsko)

4-day trip to Vienna, capital of Austria
Cíl předmětu -
Poslední úprava: doc. PhDr. Jiří Vykoukal, CSc. (24.09.2019)

1) to demonstrate that challenges faced by Central Europe and solutions adopted have foundationally influenced the shape of 21st centure Europe. Central Europe is responsible for the concept of the paternalistic welfare state, for ethnic nationalism, rabid race-based antisemitism as well as Marxism and Communism that provided a popular alternative to the „exploitation“ by capitalists.

 2) to recover the geopolitical and cultural concept of Central Europe that, after 1945, was eradicated by redividing the continent into Communist "Eastern Europe" and non-Communist "Western Europe" – even now we often hear about "East Central Europe" or "East Europe and the Balkans."

 3) to examine the historical struggle of Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Hungary – the former Hapsburg Empire and Poland) to political consolidation. We will take as an example the strenuous and some might say forceful road to German unification resulting in the creation of the Second Empire by 1900’s. We will compare it with an equally strenuous of Hapsburg monarchs to prevent decomposition of their Empire. Their effort was in vain, their empire fell apart and gave way after WWI and gave way to nation states. 

 4) to explain how this historical resistance to political consolidation resulted in nationalism and to discuss nationalism’s beneficial as well as the sinister forms.


 The course is composed of a lecture (45 minutes) and a seminar (practicals) that lasts 90 minutes.  Lecture begins at 12:30, followed by 45 minute break and a 90 minute seminar. 

Students can attend 5 optional trips related to the course matter and led by the course instructors. For the description of trips and schedule, see the end of this text.


Podmínky zakončení předmětu -
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Jiřina Tomečková (13.02.2023)

Hodnocení studentů je založeno na škále písmen A-F, která vychází z Opatření děkanky číslo 20/2019 (https://fsv.cuni.cz/opatreni-dekanky-c-20/2019)

90 % a více => A
80-89 % => B
70-79 % => C
60-69 % => D
50-59 % => E
0-49 % => F

Literatura -
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Barbora Navrátilová (22.02.2021)

NOTE: All literature available in this syllabus is for the use in this course only. It is all protected by the copyright and must not be further distributed.

Key texts:


Hugh LeCaine Agnew, The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2004). 

Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999).

Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe (University of Washington Press; Rev Exp edition, 2002).

Vaclav Havel, "The Power of the Powerless" 


Essays supplied by the instructor from the following publications:


Mikuláš Teich, Bohemia in History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Jürgen Tampke, Czech-German Relations and the Politics of Central Europe, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

Jiří Musil, The End of Czechoslovakia, (Budapest: Central European University Press, 1995)


Reference texts:


Eric Roman, Austria-Hungary and the Successor States: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2003).

Especially useful sections:


b) Chronologies of the history of 5 successor countries, pp. 582-634

c) Rulers and Statesmen of 5 successor countries, pp. 637-650

d) Maps

Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Marcela Janíčková (30.09.2021)

in-class instruction, see the schedule for details on classroom number

Požadavky ke zkoušce - angličtina
Poslední úprava: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D. (13.10.2020)

Grading procedure:


- midterm: 40% of the final grade

- final exam: 40% of the final grade

- presentation: 20% of the final grade

- make-up exams are possible 


Grading is based on the Dean's Measure 20/2019: https://fsv.cuni.cz/deans-measure-no-20/2019

Sylabus -
Poslední úprava: doc. PhDr. Jiří Vykoukal, CSc. (24.09.2019)


Imperial Nations and Subject Peoples: Czechs in the Austrian Empire and After (17th - 21st ct)


 Course supervisor: David L. Robbins, PhD


Instructors: Mgr. Marcela Janíčková, prof. David L. Robbins, PhD, Blanka Maderová, PhD


Recommended number of ECTS credits: 6 


Grading procedure:


- midterm: 40% of the final grade

- final exam: 40% of the final grade

- presentation: 20% of the final grade

- make-up exams are possible 




Two absences are permitted. If you are absent more times, you will be asked to write a paper to make up for the class(es) missed.





Session 1         Introduction 

Session 2         Lecture: Enlightenment in theory                        

Session 3        Enlightenment in practice: reforms under Maria Teresa and Joseph II

Session 4         Romanticism as a backlash against Enlightenment

Session 5         Birth of Nationalism; its growth during the Napoleonic wars 

Session 6         Czech national revival and its phases: development of language, synthesis of the Czech cultural tradition including the history of the Czechs,

                      creation of works that institutionalized Czech culture and formed Czech identity.

                      Weaknesses of the Czech national revival and gradual self-critique

Session 7        Springtime of Nations in the German Confederation – consequences of German unification movement on the relations between Bohemian Czechs and Bohemian Germans.

                       Plans for revamping of Austria                         

Session 8          Aftermath of the revolution of 1848 – Francis Joseph’s and Bach’s absolutism and its erosion

                        From constitutional monarchy to Austria-Hungary; beginning of the (Czech) political life in the Austrian Empire


Session 9           Czech politics and culture in Austria-Hungary from Ausgleich to 1910’s

                       Encounter of the "national culture" with cosmopolitan modernism


Session 10           Jews in Austria-Hungary (18th and 19th ct)


Session 11           WWI and Czech striving for independent Czechoslovakia


Session 12       Midterm exam

Session 13       First Czechoslovak Republic: experiment in building a pluralist society

                      State Right argument vs. right to national determination; Idea of the Czechoslovak nation state with minorities;

                      geography, demographics,  political system, economic situation.


Session 14       Continuation: First Czechoslovak Republic: experiment in building a pluralist society


Session 15        Attitudes of Slovaks to Czechoslovakia and Czechs: from establishment of the republic to the Munich agreement of 1938


Session 16           Attitudes of Bohemian Germans to Czechoslovakia and Czechs in the 1920's: from refusal to acceptance, from negativism to activism.

                          Bohemian Germans in the 1930's: from autonomist goals to destruction of the First Czechoslovak Republic.


Session 17       WWII in the Czech lands: the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia


Session 18       Post-war changes in Central Europe and Czechoslovakia – crafting a welfare state: 

                       changes of the political system, expulsion and resettlement of populations, coping  with the past (retribution decrees and amnesty law), first nationalizations in the  economy.


Session 19       Communist seizure of power in February 1948, Construction of the Communist Utopia

                         Attractions and realities of life in the communist society in the 1950's


Session 20       Causes and the program of the Prague Spring reform movement


Session 21       Czechoslovak experience under Normalization


Session 22           Velvet Revolution of 1989; political transformation


Session 23       Break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993, establishment of the Czech Republic

                       Economic transformation and its crisis


Session 24       European Integration


Final Exam


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