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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Arista Maria Cirtautas
EURO 302
Seattle Campus

The Politics and Cultures of Europe

Builds upon themes and topics introduced in EURO 301. Provides rigorous and specialized investigation of European political institutions, societies, and cultures in the modern era. Prerequisite: EURO 301.

Class description

This course will introduce students to the political systems and social transformations in the new east European memberstates of the European Union. Although eastern Europe is most often approached in terms of the commonalities shared across the region (e.g. socioeconomic backwardness, interwar breakdown of democracy, communist rule and, finally, transition to democracy and accession to the EU), each country retains very distinct institutional and cultural characteristics that reflect its particular historical path. We will, therefore, be focusing on both the shared aspects of east European political development and the unique national political systems of the major new memberstates. We will also consider the impact of the EU on these national political systems. How, specifically, has the EU influenced the new memberstates and the quality of democracy in these countries? As we shall see, the capacity of the EU to promote democratic political development is of particular importance in the case of the former Yugoslavia and in the case of the new borderstates along the enlarged EU's eastern frontier.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

mix of lecture and discussion

Recommended preparation

Euro 301 is recommended but not required

Class assignments and grading

short writing assignments

20% class participation; 20% weekly news journal; 60% two short papers (each 5-7 pages long)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Anne Ec Hilton
Date: 10/23/2007