Balkans in International Relations

General Information
Number of Hours: 
Tuesday 11:30 - 13:00
Preliminary requirements: 

Basic knowledge of the modern history, political geography and international political relations

Course Description: 

1. Introduction

2. Characteristic of the political and geographical region of Central Europe and Balkan Peninsula as  an area of the clash of cultural, religion and civilization influences and social, political, ethnics and economic interests.

3. Political systems and internal problems of the Balkan countries and Central European states (political instability, social movements and processes, cultural and ideological changes, ethnics and national identities changes, communism vs. nationalism).

4. Situation in Central Europe and Balkan Peninsula in the international context (territorial disputes, conflicts, conflicts of interest, government changes, alliances and international cooperation with  organisations and other states in the region).

5. Evaluation of the course

Aims of the course: 

W1. Student explains issues of the political geography and modern history of the states of Central Europe and Balkan Peninsula. Student knows the important issues of political, cultural, civilization, religious and ethnic divisions.

W2. Student understands and is able to exemplify the political, economic and social processes occurring in the region nowadays and relate them to the role of the region in international relations.

W3. Student is able to analyze and evaluate the meaning of the key regional and international factors  such as:  the US, German, Russian and Turkey  politics towards the region, Serbo-Croatian, Serbo-Albanian, Macedonian-Albanian conflicts, and also conflict in BiH, situation in Bulgaria Romania and in Central Europe after 1989.

W4. Student knows the conditions internal politics and socio-economic process in the most important states of Central Europe and Western Balkans.


U1. Student is able to properly operate the main concepts from the theory of international relations and use them to construct the descriptions of political, economic and social events in Central Europe and Western Balkans.

U2. Student has the skills to evaluate and describe the role of Central Europe and Balkan Peninsula in international politics – focused on European Union and NATO.

U3. Student posses the ability to present the processes and occurrences such as democratization, balkanization, integration process and ethnic and religious conflicts in the region. Student is also able to use mentioned information to describe the current events.

U4. Student is able to draw up the main methods of dealing with the new challenges in the Balkan and Central Europe region.


K1. Student is qualified to formulate and verify his/her own opinion about the internal and international processes occurring in the states of Central Europe and Balkans. Student is able to discuss on the given topic and independently arrange the discussions about the countries of the region.

K2. Working individually and in a group student can prepare presentations, papers or reports on a given topic.

K3. Student understands the importance of the knowledge from the field of international relations for the analysis of social, ethnic, security and political problems of Central Europe and Balkans.


Teaching methods: 

Seminar, text analysis, discussion, case studies, work in groups, presentation, report, paper.

Evaluation & Completion: 

-   Active participation in the discussion,

-   Written test consisting of 3-5 questions,

-   Preparation of 15  - 20 minutes  presentation focused on contemporary issues of the selected countries.

Basic Literature: 

S. P. Ramet (2010), Central and Southeast European Politics Since 1989, Cambridge University Press,

D. Djokić (Ed.) (2003), Yugoslavism. Histories of a Failed Idea 1918-1992,  Hurst &Company London,

M. Todorova (2004), Balkan Identities. Nation and Memory, Hurst &Company London,

M. Todorova (2009), Imagining the Balkans, Oxford University Press, New York.

N. Toš, K. H. Muller (2005), Political Faces of Slovenia, Echoraum, Wien,

Additional Literature: 

S. P. Ramet (1999), Balkan Babel, Westview Press,          

N. Toš, K. H. Muller (2005), Political Faces of Slovenia, Echoraum, Wien,

B.K. Blitz(Ed.) (2003), War and Change in the Balkans, Cambridge University Press,

D. Koturović (2007), Serbian Foreign and Security Policy in 21st Century,

J. Muś, M. Szpala (2011), Croatia in the European Union, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, Łódź

R. Riedel (Ed.) (2010), Central Europe: two decades after, Opole University Centre for Europe, University of Warsaw & Institute of Political Science, Opole University, Warsaw

A. Szymański (Ed.)(2012), Turkey and Europe: challenges and opportunities, The Polish Institute of International Affairs, Warsaw