Political Systems in the Balkans

Course Information
TitlePolitical Systems in the Balkans / Political Systems in the Balkans
FacultySocial and Economic Sciences
SchoolPolitical Sciences
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
CoordinatorVemund Aarbakke
Course ID600022586

Programme of Study: International Studies: Specialization in European Studies

Registered students: 0
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
KORMOSElective Courses beloging to the selected specialization215

Class Information
Academic Year2023 – 2024
Class PeriodSpring
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Type 2021
Specific Foundation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
The students will become familiar with central issues in the political history of the Balkan states from the early 19th century to the present. They should be able to understand the various topics within the local, national, regional, and international context. Furthermore, they will acquire skills related to oral and written academic presentation of the topics in question.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Respect natural environment
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
1. Introduction and outline of the course. 2. The Ottoman Empire and the political order in Southeast Europe. 3. The Eastern Question. 4. The emergence of national states up until 1878. 5. Political turmoil and the emergence of Bulgaria after the Berlin Treaty 1878. 6. The Macedonian Question up until the Balkan Wars. 7. The new European order after WWI. 8. Communism and the new order after WWII. 9. Balkan relations during the Cold War. 10. Regime changes after 1990 and the dissolution of Yugoslavia. 11. The “New Macedonian Question”. 12. The western Balkans and EU. 13. Summary and conclusions of lessons learned.
Political history, Balkans, International-regional system,
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Book
Course Organization
Written assigments47.51.7
Student Assessment
The Students will be required to write a small essay related to the course material during the semester and there will be a written exam at the end of the course. Attendance and active participation in the class will also be taken into consideration for the final grade.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Formative)
Additional bibliography for study
Aarbakke V (2015) Die Region Makedonien. In Oliver Jens Schmitt – Michael Metzeltin (Hg.) Das Südosteuropa der Regionen. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften: 603-639. (I can also supply English version). Aarbakke V (2022) The Identity Question Regarding the Macedonian Nation and Minorities: The Conflicting Views of Its Neighbours and the Implications for North Macedonia`s Path Towards the EU in: Costa BF (ed.) Challenges and Barriers to the European Union Expansion to the Balkan Region. Herchey PA: IGI Global: 209-228. Akkoyunlu K & Öktem K (2016) Existential insecurity and the making of a weak authoritarian regime in Turkey. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 16:4: 505-527. Banac I (1984) The National Question in Yugoslavia. Origins, History, Politics. Cornell University Press. Barkey K & Mark Von Hagen (1997) After Empire Multiethnic Societies and Nation-Building The Soviet Union and the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg Empires. Boulder Co: Westview Press. Brailsford HN (1906) Macedonia: Its Races and their Future. London: Methuen & Co. http://macedonia.kroraina.com/en/hb/index.html Brubaker R (1993) National Minorities, Nationalizing States, and External National Homelands in the New Europe, Notes toward a Relational Analysis. Reihe Politikwisswenschaft 11. Chandler D (2000) Bosnia -Faking Democracy After Dayton. London: Pluto Press. Christopoulos D (2019 – 10 January) The Macedonian question and Greece’s national solitude. Opendemocracy.net. Exertzoglou H (1999) Shifting Boundaries: Language Community and the ‘Non-Greek-Speaking Greeks. Istorein, Athens: 75-92. Finney, P B (1995) ‘An Evil for All Concerned’: Great Britain and Minority Protection after 1919. Journal of Contemporary History. 30(3): 533-551. Friedman VA (2018 - October 1) The Name’s Macedonia. North Macedonia. Can the Country Overcome its Identity Crisis? Foreign Affairs. Gallagher T (2003) The Balkans After the Cold War. From Tyranny to Tragedy. London and New York: Routledge. Goldschmidt Jr. A (2010) A Concise History of the Middle East (9th Edition). Boulder Co: Westview Press. Grigoriadis I N (2021) The European Union in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2020: Whither Strategic Autonomy. Journal of Common Market Studies. Heraclides A & Dialla A (2015) Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century - Setting the precedent. Manchester University Press. Chapter 9. The Balkan crisis of 1875–78 and Russia: between humanitarianism
and pragmatism: 169-198. Hroch M (1996) From National Movement to the Fully-Formed Nation: The Nation Building Process in Europe. In: Geoff Eley and Ronald Grigor Suny (Eds.), Becoming National – A Reader, New York – Oxford: Oxford University Press: 60-77. Hupchick D P (2002) The Balkans From Constantinople to Communism, New York N.Y.: Palgrave. Jelavich B (1983) History of the Balkans, Volume 1, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries & Volume 2. Volume 2. Twentieth century Cambridge University Press. King C (2010) Extreme Politics Nationalism, Violence, and the End of Eastern Europe, Oxford University Press. Koutoulas I (2018 – October 12) The Problem With “North Macedonia” New Name, Same Old Delusions. Foreign Affairs. Lesser I (2001) Greece's New Geopolitics, Santa Monica CA: Rand. Lika Ι (2020) Greece's emerging security challenges and the future of Greek-Turkish relations. Ankara: SETA. Livanios D (2008, September) Beyond ‘ethnic cleansing’: aspects of the functioning of violence in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans,” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Vol. 8, No. 3: 189–203. Mavrogordatos G T (1983) Stillborn Republic: Social Coalitions and Party Strategies in Greece, 1922-1936. University of California Press. Neset, S et.al. (2019) Turkish foreign policy: structures and decision-making processes. CMI Report May. Pearson R (1983) National Minorities in Eastern Europe 1848–1945, London and Basingstoke: The MacMillan Press Ltd. Pond E (2006) Endgame in the Balkans - Regime Change, European Style, Washington D.C. Brookings Institution Press. Popov N (Ed.) (2000 (1996)) The Road to War in Serbia. Budapest: CEU Press. Sayari S (2010) Political Violence and Terrorism in Turkey, 1976-80: A Retrospective Analysis. Terrorism and Political Violence. 22(2): 198-215. Sekulić D, Massey G& Hodson R(2006) Ethnic intolerance and ethnic conflict in the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Ethnic and Racial Studies 29(5): 797-827. Stavrianos LS (1958) The Balkans since 1453, New York: Rinehart & Company. Triandafyllidou A (1998) National identity and the 'other'” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 21(4): 593-612. Tsitsipas LD (1997) The names of languages and their dense indexicality in: Adamou E (ed.) Le noms des langues II – Le patrimoine plurilingue de la Grèce. Paris: CNRS:10-14. Vladisavljević N (2014). Does Scholarly Literature on the Breakup of Yugoslavia Travel Well? In: Bieber F et. al. (Eds.), Debating the End of Yugoslavia, Franham: Ashgate. Chapter 5: 67-80. White J (2017) Spindle Autocracy in the New Turkey. The Brown Journal of World Affairs. XXIV(I). Wilkinson HR (1951) Maps And Politics. Liverpool University Press. Zürcher E J (2017) Turkey A Modern History, Revised Edition. London: I.B. Tauris.
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