The Rise and Fall of Communism in Central Europe: A Socio-economic perspective (1918-1953) CEES3021

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This is an Honours course taught by Central and East European Studies. It can be taken as part of the MA Honours Social Science or Arts Programmes. The course seeks to explain the economic and social development of Central and Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Russian. German, and Austro-Hungarian empires. It covers Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia  and Romania, with some reference to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia


One 2 hour class per week

This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the CEES Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory entry requirements

Entry to CEES Honours normally requires the following:

(a) 40 credits at a grade point average of 15 (Grade B) or above over CEES 1A and CEES 1B (40 credits) as a first attempt

(b) 40 credits at a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over CEES 2A and CEES 2B (40 credits) as a first attempt OR

(c) 60 credits at a grade point average of 15 (Grade B) or above in CEES Level 3 if the above set of requirements are not attained; and

(d) meet any further requirements set out in the degree's supplementary regulations; and

(e) meet any additional requirements set by the College of Social Sciences

Excluded Courses





5,000 word extended essay (100%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The course seeks to explain the economic and social development of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria following the First World War. This will deal with the development of the countries in the period of national independence, through to the Second World War and the death of Stalin. There is considerable emphasis on comparative analysis and there are several distinct themes in the course (see below). Though there is a nominal chronological outline this will be secondary to the development of these main themes and comparative analysis.


Specific aims include:

■ to examine the profound economic and social changes in (central ) eastern Europe in the period 1918-53;

■ to focus on different aspects of development including the role of the state; nation building; the agrarian question; the impact of international economic developments;

■ to analyse the period 1945-1953 in terms of the building and functioning of the command economy

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course the student will be able to:

■ evaluate the economic development and performance of the central and east European countries in the inter-war period, including the nature of social change in the region with respect to agrarian reform and urbanisation;

■ explain the wide differences between the countries studied by focusing on a comparative analysis of the development of central and east European societies during the inter-war and immediate post-second world war periods;

■ evaluate the nature and process behind the imposition of Stalinism and associated economic and social developments

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.