A social face of Central Europe

dr hab. Marcin Dębicki
Number of hours: 
2h X 15 weeks = 30 hours (1 semester)

The classes aim at providing their participants with the basic facts concerning social relations in Central Europe, with special attention being paid to national as well as mental borders as a means of distinguishing between ethnic “us” and “them”. In order to facilitate this, the course is supposed to give the students an outline of the history of this area and the most important challenges to be faced at present and in the future.


1. Assessment of the participation in group discussions during the classes
2. Gathering the data on the relevant subject; preparing the report (essay)

The overall mark will be composed of partial marks from the criteria 1-2 with the special emphasis on the participation in the discussions during the classes.


Orientation in political geography of Central Europe (outline)


Content: (1–2) Borders and borderlands in Central Europe. Historical dimension of the region. Introduction; (3) Transformation in Central Europe. A multidimensional outlook; (4–5) Ukraine & Belarus. An attempt at crossing the borders of the system; (6) Gypsies: the outcasts of the 21st century Europe. How to cross the ethnic border?; (7–8) Remembering the post-communist past. The example of the Czech Republic and Slovakia (9) Hungary. The Treaty of Trianon – the trauma goes on; (10) Living at the border. The example from the Estonian-Russian divided town; (11) Does “nation” matter? Russians in Latvia; (12) Croatia & the Balkans. The history goes on; (13) The EU and its mental borders. Common identity or return of nationalisms? The “old” and “new” Europe; (14–15) Central Europe today. Conlusions.