Course: Democratic Transition in Central Eastern Europe

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Course title Democratic Transition in Central Eastern Europe
Course code KAP/DTE
Organizational form of instruction Lecture + Seminar
Level of course not specified
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter and summer
Number of ECTS credits 5
Language of instruction English
Status of course unspecified
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Strnadová Lenka, Mgr. Ph.D.
  • Ženíšek Marek, PhDr. Ph.D.
Course content
1. definition of democracy; what is authoritarianism, totalitarianism; polyarchy 2. question of the term "democratic transition"; 1st, 2nd and 3rd wave of democratization; phases of democratization; number of world democracies 3. modes of transition to democracy and major actors 4. conditions for a successful democratic transition; the so-called variables in the process of democratic transition; failed trasitions; consolidated democracy 5. case studies of central European countries: Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, FYROM, Croatia etc.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Lecture supplemented with a discussion, Self-study of literature, Textual studies, Seminar
  • Undergraduate study programme term essay (20-40) - 40 hours per semester
  • Contact hours - 39 hours per semester
  • Preparation for an examination (30-60) - 60 hours per semester
professional knowledge
No particular prerequisites specified.
learning outcomes
After passing the course students will understand and describe essential information of the democratization process in central Europe. Students will be familiar with the question of democratic transitions and identify particulal theories of democratic transitions. They will be able to apply the theories and compare them with major theoretical approaches to the issue (structural, modernization or transition approaches) as well as with the phenomenon that Huntongton called the Third Wave of Democratization. Students will be able to analyze approaches examining forms of nondemocratic regimes (concepts of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes) and apply them to particular examples of democratic transitions in central Europe (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, FYROM, Croatia etc)
teaching methods
Lecture supplemented with a discussion
Textual studies
Self-study of literature
assessment methods
Oral exam
Combined exam
Recommended literature
  • DI PALMA, G. Why Democracy can work in Eastern Europe:. Journal of Democracy., 1991.
  • FUKUYAMA, F. The End of History.. 1992.
  • HUNTINGTON, S. P. Democracy´s Third Wave.. Journal of Democracy, 1991.
  • HUNTINGTON, S. P. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century.. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press., 1991.
  • LINZ, J. J. - STEPAN, A. Problems of democratic transition and consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe.. The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, London, 1996.
  • MAINWARING, S. "Presidentialism, multipartism, and democracy: The difficult combination".. Comparative Political Studies 26,, 1993.
  • Offe, Claus. Varieties of transition : the east European and east German experience. 1st ed. Cambridge : MIT Press, 1997. ISBN 0-262-15048-7.
  • Potter, David. Democratization. Cambridge : Polity Press, 2001. ISBN 0-7456-1815-4.
  • PRZEWORSKI, A. Democracy and the market: political and economic reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America.. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge; New York; Melbourne , 1991,, 1995.
  • RUSTOW, D. Tranzition to Democracy: Towards Dynamic Model.. Comparative Politics, 1970.
  • Zakaria, Fareed. The future of freedom : illiberal democracy at home abroad. 1. ed. New York ; W.W. Norton& Company, 2003. ISBN 0-393-04764-4.
  • Ženíšek, M. Přechody k demokracii v teorii a praxi. Plzeň, 2006.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester