The Communist Century

Undergraduate course at the European School of Political and Social Sciences, Catholic University of Lille

This course aims to give students a general view into the history of Eastern Europe during the period that goes from the Russian revolution of 1917 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The course offers students the possibility to study the history of Eastern European countries during the 20th century, not only underscoring the importance of the USSR, but also discussing communist times in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Yugoslavia.

During the nine sessions of the course, students have the chance to go deeper in the study of Eastern European history than what is typically possible in the framework of a general history course. As for the main contents, we discuss a number of core issues, among others: the Russian revolution, the nature of Stalinist violence in the Soviet Union, women’s position in state socialism, what was everyday life like in socialist countries, the crisis of socialist systems in the 1980s and finally, the fall of socialism and transition to democracy and market economy in Eastern Europe.

communist century course