Fall 2018

Building Nation-States, Markets, and Democracy in Europe

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-170


Ruxandra Paul (Section 01)


This course examines the making of modern politics in Western and Eastern Europe, tracing the development of nation-states, markets, and democratic institutions from the Middle Ages to the European Union. It sheds light on key questions driving contemporary political debates around the world: How are strong states built? What explains the success or collapse of democracies? When are revolutions successful? Why do some countries transition successfully to capitalism and democracy, while others do not? How can political systems overcome social, ethnic, and religious divisions, and cope with transnational pressures? How can international security be improved? The course provides an introduction to European politics and reveals how the legacies of the past often shape the politics of the present. We cover feudalism, absolutism, revolution, industrialization, democratization, and European integration. Specific topics include state and nation-building, mass democracy, economic development, capitalism and the welfare state, East-West divides, Cold War and post-Cold War political trajectories, the European Union, security, and migration. The course draws on cases from Western Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Paul.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to sophomores, then to a balance of freshmen, juniors and seniors.


Attention to Speaking


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018