Perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe

Short Course

**This course was completed in spring 2021. Contact us via the Inquire now button about current or future similar offerings, or to discuss developing a custom course.**

This online series will look at Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) from three perspectives - history, security, and democracy. This is a live and interactive lecture series providing an intensive introduction to the history and current issues in a region that has undergone tremendous change over the course of the past century. As we approach the 30th anniversary of the fall of the USSR, it is an appropriate time to consider both the causes and consequences of such rapid change.

Saturday, February 6 (10 am–2 pm EST)
In session one we look at the region from the perspective of history. Special focus will be put on Poland, a country whose location in the geopolitical and strategic center of Europe resulted in many challenges throughout its history. We will learn about the Polish Solidarity movement which paved the way for the transition from communism to democracy in CEE. By comparing the Czech Velvet Revolution to the Romanian Revolution, we will see how different the roads to democracy can be. Finally, we discuss the fall of the Berlin Wall and what short- and long-term social consequences such rapid transformation brings.

Saturday, March 6 (10 am–1 pm EST)
In session two we consider security issues in Central and Eastern Europe. Starting with a broad history and background, we then move to examine the challenges present in Europe today: hybrid threats, cybersecurity issues, and migration. These security issues stem, in part, from globalization and can be felt the world over. Thus, our discussions can be considered case studies for understanding global phenomena felt in other regions as well.

Saturday, April 3 (10 am–1 pm EST)
In session three we address the state of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. What are the reasons for democratic backsliding? What are the main challenges to CEE democracies? How international organizations and local civil societies help address these challenges? We will define the main threats to democracy and stability, including the rise of extremism. In particular we will focus on rise of right wing extremism over the last five years. Finally, from a practical point of view, we will take a look at de-radicalization policies and programs. What works and what doesn't?

Each session meets one Saturday for four lectures from 10 am–2 pm EST. Each session stands independently; you can take one, two, or all three sessions, as suits your schedule and interests. Each session is $149. Take all three for $399 (contact us to apply the discount to the third session).

SRAS Alumni: Contact us for alumni discount and payment instructions.
Educational institutions: Contact us for group pricing.
Want to gift this course? Contact us for instructions.

Lecture Schedule - Session I

Lecture Schedule - Session II

Lecture Schedule - Session III


Transcripts and Credit Transfer

SRAS Learning Credits


History, Security Studies, Sociology