Designed as a readings seminar for PhD and MA students, this course explores
the contemporary history, politics, and international relations of the
wider southeast Europe, the region stretching from the Balkans to the Caucasus.
The course re-examines the boundaries of southeast Europe by focusing on
a series of problems common to many of the states around the Black Sea:
political transition and democratization, state weakness, state- and nation-building,
territorial separatism, political violence, regional cooperation, and relations
with Europe. Students will read several classic texts in the study of southeastern
Europe, as well as more recent scholarship that links events in the region
with major trends in the social sciences. Students will also be able to
shape the course content to fit their specific research interests. The
course requires a series of short essays on the readings, but students
will also have the opportunity to develop longer-term research projects
based on their particular interests. This course assumes that participants
already have some familiarity with the history and politics of eastern
Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Requirements and Grading
1. Attendance and informed participation (roughly 20% of course
grade). Each member of the class will also be responsible for initiating
the discussion at least once during the course of the semester.
2. Four essays of roughly eight pages each (roughly 20% each)
OR one research paper of around 30 pages (roughly 80%).
Format for essays and papers
The essay should be typed, double-spaced, on one side of plain white 8.5”
x 11” paper. Pages should be numbered consecutively. The essays are not
meant to be research papers; therefore, it is not expected that the essays
will have extensive footnotes. However, if footnotes are necessary, they
should be placed at the bottom of the page and should follow a recognized
style for citations. The typescript should be secured with a staple. Do
not submit the paper in a loose-leaf binder, plastic report cover, or other
Research papers should follow a similar format, with citations that
follow a recognized style.
Criteria for evaluation
Essays will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Originality of ideas: How much original thought went into the
essay? Did you merely restate someone else’s argument? Or does the essay
contain evidence that you have thought seriously about a problem and used
your own powers of analysis?
Research papers will be evaluated according to similar criteria, although
thoroughness and creativity of research will also feature prominently in
Strength of argument: Is there a clear argument in the essay?
How well have you made your case? Do you merely assert a point, or do you
argue it using evidence, sub-arguments, and other tools of analysis? Do
you have your facts straight?
Organization and clarity: Are your points clear to the reader?
Does your first paragraph summarize the argument in brief and lay out the
structure of the essay? Does your last paragraph return to the question
and reinforce your analysis of the issue at hand?
Writing style: Do you write in an interesting yet formal style?
Have you avoided contractions and other informal, conversational devices?
Have you eliminated cliches? Have you reined in your metaphors? Do you
follow the basic rules of grammar and prunctuation?
Essays: 11 February, 11 March, 8 April, 29 April
Research paper: 1 May
Suggested essay topics
You may develop any of the themes we discuss in class into an essay, but
the following are suggestions for the type of questions you should consider:
1. Does "region" trump "regime" as a unit of olitical analysis?
2. What is useful (and not useful) about modernization as a lens through
which to understand political change?
3. Does large-scale political violence that has an ethnic or cultural
component require a particular type of explanation?
4. Pick a pressing political issue in the wider southeast Europe and
describe its main dimensions and significance.
Make-Ups, Extensions, Incompletes, and Academic Dishonesty
In principle, deadlines cannot be changed. However, allowance will be made
for cases in which genuine emergencies prevent students from completing
work on time. Such emergencies might include medical treatment or bereavement.
Having a heavy work load, impending deadlines for other courses or extra-curricular
commitments cannot normally be considered emergencies. Each instance will
be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Students should let the instructor
know as far in advance as possible about any potential problems.
Georgetown University is an honor-code school. Cases of suspected academic
dishonesty will be handled according to the university’s
In order to encourage discussion outside class, the professor has set up
a ListProc discussion list on the university computer system. The list’s
name is GOVT659-L. The ListProc system enables subscribers
to send e-mail messages to a central server, which then distributes the
messages to all other subscribers on the list. Such a system will allow
the entire class to carry out “virtual” discussions and will help the professor
to communicate with the entire class outside lecture periods. Subscription
to the ListProc is required, and the quality and frequency of postings
on the list will be taken into account when determining final course grades.
In order to subscribe to the list:
Get an e-mail account, preferably on a university server.
Send an e-mail message to LISTPROC@LISTPROC.GEORGETOWN.EDU. Leave the subject
line blank, and in the text portion of the message type:
subscribe GOVT659-L YourFirstName YourLastName
For example: subscribe GOVT659-L Susan Sarandon. You will then automatically
receive information about the list, as well as postings from other subscribers.
To send a message to the list, so that it can be read by all other subscribers,
simply send your message to:
The following books have been ordered for the course and may be purchased
at the GU Bookstore in the Leavey Center, any good bookstore, or online
at such sites as amazon.com.
These basic texts may be supplemented by other required readings from journals,
books, and other sources.
L. Carl Brown, ed., Imperial Legacy: The Ottoman Imprint on the Balkans
and the Middle East (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996). ISBN
Charles King, The Moldovans: Russia, Romania, and the Politics of Culture
Hoover Institution Press, 1999). ISBN 081799792X
Anatol Lieven, Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power (New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1998). ISBN 0200078811
Andew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2000). ISBN 0300083556
Hugh and Nicole Pope, Turkey Unveiled (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press,
Orhan Pamuk, White Castle (New York: Random House, 1990). ISBN 0375701613
Kurban Said, Ali and Nino (New York: Anchor Books, 2000). 0385720408
Erik Zurcher, Turkey: A Modern History (London: I. B. Tauris, 1997).
Topics and Readings
Note: The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the readings
and discussion topics during the course of the semester. For each class
session, the first few items are absolute must-reads; those below the space
are highly recommended. It is expected that you will have read at least
some items from the recommended list.
Wed., 9 January Course Introduction
1. This syllabus
Part I Themes
14 January Regions and Seas
1. Charles King, "The New Near East," Survival, Vol.
43, No. 2 (Summer 2001): 49-67
King, "Post-postcommunism: Transition, Comparison, and the End of 'Eastern
Europe,'" World Politics, Vol. 53, No. 1 (2000): 143-172.
3. Charles King, "Introduction: An Archaeology of Place," "Beginnings,"
and "The Edge of the World" (manuscript)
4. Neil Ascherson, Black Sea (New York: Hill and Wang, 1995).
5. William McNeill, Europe's Steppe Frontier, 1500-1800 (Chicago:
Chicago University Press, 1964).
6. Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World
in the Age of Philip II (New York: Harper and Row, 1972).
7. Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean in the Ancient World (New
York: Allen Lane, 2001).
8. Oskar Halecki, The Limits and Divisions of European History
(New York: Sheed and Ward, 1950).
9. Kenneth McPherson, The Indian Ocean: A History of People and
the Sea (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).
10. Gheorghe Ioan Bratianu, La mer Noire: Des origines a la conquete
ottomane (Munich: Romanian Academy Society, 1969).
11. Martin W. Lewis and Karen E. Wigen, The Myth of Continents:
A Critique of Metageography (Berkeley: University of California Press,
12. Tunc Aybak, ed., Politics of the Black Sea (London: I. B.
13. William Ryan and Walter Pitman, Noah's Flood: The New Scientific
Discoveries about the Event that Changed History (New York: Simon and
14. Milica Bakic-Hayden and Robert M. Hayden, “Orientalist Variations
on the Theme ‘Balkans’: Symbolic Geography in Recent Yugoslav Cultural
Slavic Review, Vol. 51, No. 1 (1992): 1-15.
21 January NO CLASS--MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., DAY
28 January Empires and Imperial Legacies
1. Brown, Imperial Legacy
2. Karen Barkey and Mark von Hagen, eds., After Empire: Multiethnic
Societies and Nation-Building (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1997).
3. Dominic Lieven, Empire: The Russian Empire and Its Rivals
(London: Murray, 2000).
4. Maria Todorova, Imagining the Balkans (New York: Oxford University
5. Vesna Goldsworthy, Inventing Ruritania (New Haven: Yale University
6. John R. Lampe, Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950: From Imperial
Borderlands to Developing Nations (Bloomington: Indiana University
7. Paul Stephenson, Byzantium's Balkan Frontier: A Political Study
of the Northern Balkans, 900-1204 (Cambridge: Cambridge University
8. Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia
(London: Canongate Classics, 1993 ).
4 February Modernization and Transition
Bunce, "Comparing East and South," Journal of Democracy, Vol. 6,
No. 3 (1995) 87-100.
2. Daniel Chirot, ed., The Origins of Backwardness in Eastern Europe
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989).
Rose, "A Diverging Europe," Journal of Democracy, Vol. 12, No. 1
Whitehead, "Geography and Democratic Destiny," Journal of Democracy,
Vol. 10, No. 1 (1999): 74-79.
5. Joel Halpern, A Serbian Village (New York: Harper and Row,
6. Daniel Lerner, The Passing of Traditional Society (New York:
Free Press, 1958).
7. Joel Migdal, Strong Societies and Weak States (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1988).
8. Kenneth Jowitt, Revolutionary Breakthroughs and National Development:
The Case of Romania, 1944-1965 (Berkeley: University of California
9. Susan L. Woodward, Socialist Unemployment: The Political Economy
of Yugoslavia, 1945-1990 (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1995).
10. David Waldner, State Building and Late Development (Ithaca: Cornell
University Press, 1999).
11. John R. Lampe, Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950: From Imperial
Borderlands to Developing Nations (Bloomington: Indiana University
11 February State- and Nation-Building
1. Charles Tilly, ed., The Formation of National States in Western
Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974).
2. Karen Barkey, Bandits and Bureaucrats: The Ottoman Route to State
Centralization (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1994).
Kolsto, "Nation-Building in the Former USSR," Journal of Democracy,
Vol. 7, No. 1 (1996): 118-132.
4. Kemal Karpat, The Gecekondu (Cambridge: Cambridge University
5. Eric D. Gordy, The Culture of Power in Serbia (University
Park: Penn State University Press, 1999).
6. Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization
and the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford: Stanford University Press,
7. Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History,
(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984).
8. Peter F. Sugar and Ivo J. Lederer, eds., Nationalism in Eastern
Europe (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994).
9. Irina Livezeanu, Cultural Politics in Greater Romania (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1995).
10. Hugh Seton-Watson, Eastern Europe between the Wars, 1918-1941
Cambridge University Press, 1946).
11. Joseph Rothschild, East Central Europe Between the Two World
Wars (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1974).
12. Robert King, Minorities Under Communism (Cambridge: Harvard
Niversity Press, 1973).
18 February NO CLASS--PRESIDENTS' DAY
25 February Violence
1. John Mueller, "The Banality of 'Ethnic War,'" International
Security, Vol. 25 (Summer 2000): 42-70.
2. Mark Mazower, The Balkans: A Short History (New York: Penguin,
2000), Chapter on violence.
Licklider, "The Consequences of Negotiated Settlements in Civil Wars, 1945-1993,"
Political Science Review, Vol. 89, No. 3. (September 1995): 681-690.
4. E. J. Hobsbawm, Bandits (New York: Pantheon, 1981).
4 March NO CLASS--SPRING BREAK
11 March Late Modernization and Democratization: Turkey
1. Pope and Pope, Turkey Unveiled
Candar and Graham E. Fuller, "Grand Geopolitics for a New Turkey," Mediterranean
Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1 (2001): 22-38.
See also the Zurcher book for background
3. Kemal H. Karpat, Turkey's Politics: The Transition to a Multi-Party
System (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959).
4. Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (Oxford: Oxford
Univeristy Press, 1968).
5. Halik Inalcik with Dennis Quataert, eds., An Economic and Social
History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
6. Robert E. Ward and Dankwart A. Rostow, eds., Political Modernization
in Japan and Turkey (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964).
Part II Cases
18 March State- and Nation-Building: Ukraine
1. Wilson, The Ukrainians
Pascual and Steve Pifer, "Ukraine's Bid for a Decisive Place in History,"
Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001): 175-192.
Diuk, "Sovereignty and Uncertainty in Ukraine," Journal of Democracy,
Vol. 12, No. 4 (2001): 57-64.
4. Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History (Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 2000).
5. Bruce Parrott and Karen Dawisha, eds., Democratic Changes and
Authoritarian Reactions in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1997).
25 March Nation-Building and Separatism: Moldova
1. King, The Moldovans
1 April NO CLASS--EASTER BREAK
8 April Imperial Decline and Violence: The North Caucasus
1. Lieven, Chechnya
Lieven, "Nightmare in the Caucasus," Washington Quarterly, Vol.
23, No. 1 (2000): 145-159.
15 April State Weakness and Territory: The South Caucasus
King, "The Benefits of Ethnic War: Understanding Eurasia's Unrecognized
States," World Politics, Vol. 53 (July 2001): 524-552.
2. Charles King, “Potemkin Democracy: Four Myths about Post-Soviet
Georgia,” The National Interest, No. 64 (Summer 2001): 93-104.
D. Laitin and Ronald Grigor Suny, "Armenia and Azerbaijan: Thinking a Way
Out of Karabakh," Middle East Policy, Vol. 7, No. 1 (October 1999).
E. Cornell, "Democratization Falters in Azerbaijan," Journal of Democracy,
Vol. 12, No. 2 (2001): 118-131.
5. Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrott, eds., Conflict, Cleavage, and
Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus (Cambridge: Cambridge University
22 April War and International Intervention: The Balkans
Bugajski, "Balkan in Dependence?" Washington Quarterly, Vol. 23,
No. 4 (2000): 177-192.
2. Further readings TBA
3. John Allcock, Explaining Yugoslavia (London: Hurst, 2000).
4. Tone Bringa, Being Muslim the Bosnian Way: Identity and Community
in a Central Bosnian Village (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1995).
5. Lenard J. Cohen, Broken Bonds: Yugoslavia’s Disintegration and
Balkan Politics in Transition (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1993).
6. Bogdan Denitch, Limits and Possibilities: The Crisis of Yugoslav
Socialism and State Socialist Systems (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
7. Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia (London: Penguin, 1992).
8. John Lampe, Yugoslavia as History (Cambridge: Cambridge UP,
9. Sabrina Petra Ramet, Balkan Babel: The Disintegration of Yugoslavia
from the Death of Tito to Ethnic War (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1996).
10. Mark Thompson, A Paper House: The Ending of Yugoslavia (London:
11. Warren Zimmerman, Origins of a Catastrophe (New York: Times
12. Laura Silber and Allan Little, The Death of Yugoslavia (London:
13. David Owen, Balkan Odyssey (London: Victor Gollancz, 1995).
14. Noel Malcolm, Kosovo: A Short History (New York: NYU Press,
15. Robert Thomas, The Politics of Serbia in the 1990s (New
York: Columbia University Press, 1999).
16. L. S. Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453 (New York: New
York University Press, 2000).
17. Chuck Sudetic, Blood and Vengeance: One Family's Story of the
War in Bosnia (New York: Penguin, 1999).
18. Tim Judah, Kosovo: War and Revenge (New Haven: Yale University
29 April Open
© Copyright 2002, Charles King