Aspects of Post-Communism

Subject 166-541 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week , 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of International Politics, Postgraduate certificate/diploma in International Politics or Political Science, or Honours in Political Science or International Studies.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Leslie Templeman Holmes


Prof. Leslie Holmes
Subject Overview: This subject focuses on deeper theoretical aspects of the transitions from communist power, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, since 1989. It introduces students to many of the dilemmas faced by European (mainly) transition states, and to the concepts of totalitarianism, authoritarianism, revolution and refolution, post-communism, transformation, democratisation, marketisation, neo-liberalism, path-dependency, identity politics, nationalism and post-nationalism. The subject engages with debates on transition, including the tension between the desire for democracy and the frequently identified need for a strong state. In this context, the direction of post-communist states both away from and towards authoritarianism is examined, as is the potential conflict between socioeconomic goals such as a comprehensive welfare state and the political goal of democracy. On completion of the subject, students should have an advanced understanding of the dilemmas and historical specificity of post-communism, and of debates on several important concepts related to this, such as revolution/refolution, transformation, and the alleged crises of political modernity and the state. They should also be able to locate their knowledge within broader political and social theorising, and be able to discuss at an advanced level practical problems of attempts simultaneously to implement political, economic, social, cultural and ideological revolutions.
  • be able to analyse from a theoretical perspective the anti-communist revolutions of 1989-91 and the early stages of post-communism;
  • be able to locate these theoretical analyses within broader political and social theorising;
  • be able to highlight and discuss practical problems of implementing political, economic, social and ideological revolutions simultaneously.
Assessment: A research essay totalling 5000 words 100% (due at the end of semester). In addition, students will be required to introduce an aspect of a given seminar's theme and provide a one-page summary of their talk to the other members of the group at the start of their presentation.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • be able to develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.
Notes: Formerly available as 166-063, 166-449 and 166-541. Students who have completed 166-063, 166-449 or 166-541 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Asian Societies)
Master of Arts (International Studies)(Adv. Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of International Politics
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Political Science
Political Science
Political Science

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