401. Senior Seminar in Russian and East European Studies. Permission
of instructor. (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 001: The Pursuit of Justice in Post-communist Societies. This course will analyze the problems and challenges which face the Central European countries during their transformation from command economies with one-party systems into politically pluralistic market economies. The course will focus mainly on Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in a broad comparative context which includes the states of the former USSR and Yugoslavia. The first part of the course will address the communist system which presented itself as "the system of social justice" but which simultaneously neglected and undermined the values and institutions commonly associated with justice. To be able to analyze this phenomenon, the course will examine communist constitutional law and practices. The gap between theory and practice will be examined with regard to communist promises about democracy, fundamental political rights, equality, sovereignty of nations and minority rights. The second part of the course will explore how Central European societies are reacting to the legacy of injustices under communism in politics, economics, personal well-being, and international and interethnic relations. Special emphasis will be placed on the conflict of interests, political instability, and social unrest occurring in post-communist societies. Students will have the opportunity to compare the United States and Central European societies, and special attention will be given to current political and social events in Central Europe. One 3-5 pp. essay and one 10-12 pp. paper including prospectus, bibliography, and revision of first draft will be required. Active participation in class discussion is encouraged. The instructor will be Dr. Dariusz Filar, Department of Social Economics, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland.
Section 002: Topics in the Study of Contemporary Soviet Society This course provides an intensive investigation of topics in Soviet and post-Soviet history from 1917 to the present. Subjects to be considered are: the construction of Soviet institutions in the Revolutionary and Civil War periods; the complex culture of the 1930's; views of Stalinism in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras; Soviet institutions after World War II; the Khrushchev era; the political economy of the Brezhnev period; the emergence of new political movements in the 1980's; the sources of the 1991 revolution; and perspectives on the future of the Russian Federation and the newly independent states. Readings will include newspaper articles from the Soviet and post-Soviet press, secondary sources written by post-Soviet and Western scholars, and archival documents. Students will be required to write one 3-5 pp. essay and one 10-12 pp. paper including prospectus, bibliography, and revisions of the first drafts. Active participation in discussions is encouraged. This course will be taught by Dr. Efim Pivovar, Pro-Rector and Professor of History at the Russian State University for Humanities in Moscow. He has given lectures in the United States, and taught history at the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana in 1990-1991.
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