Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

Teacher: Ilana Seelinger, PhD Candidate, Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki

Target group: The course is open for all University of Helsinki degree and exchange students.

Learning outcomes:
Students will familiarize themselves with the theories surrounding populism and then apply these to the political situation in the Višegrad Four countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia since the end of the communist period. Using these countries as case studies, students will become familiar with the societal and political conditions that enable populist growth, in addition to gaining an understanding of the issues facing this region of the former Eastern bloc.

Teaching methods:
This course will be based in the theories of constructivist pedagogy and inquiry-based learning, so the seminars will involve introductory lectures followed by work with primary sources, photos, video clips, and other material. Students will do a reading prior to each class to prepare them for the in-class activities. Evaluation will be based on in-class participation, an oral presentation given during one of the last two classes, and a final essay, with each element will receiving equal weight.

Course outline:
1. Defining Populism: a brief discussion of populism in the abstract and how various theorists have defined it in different ways (Laclau & Mouffe, Mudde, Moffitt, etc.)
2. Populism as a political style: a deeper look at Moffitt’s conception of populism as a political style, and an exploration of ways that we can recognize this populist style in various CEE leaders.
3. Hungary since 1989: starting with the CEE country most well known for its foray into populism, and the political developments that got Hungary to where it is now.
4. Hungary today: Viktor Orban as emblematic of a populist leader and how that affects Hungarian society.
5. Slovakia since 1989: Developments in Slovak politics since 1989, including the Velvet Divorce through the lens of populism
6. Slovakia today: Robert Fico: a Left-wing populist?
7. Czech Republic since 1989: witnessing the movement of populism from the margins to the mainstream, helped by media
8. Czech Republic today: Right-wing vs. Centrist Populism
9. Poland since 1989: developments in Polish politics since 1989
10. Poland today: Populism as a part of a tense political situation in Poland today
11. Summing up, student presentations
12. Summing up, student presentations

Completion: Lectures 24 h, reading, presentation, and essay

Background reading:
You can take a look at the following book in case you are not familiar with the course topic:
• Havlík, V. (2012). Populist political parties in East-Central Europe. Brno, [Czech Republic]: Masaryk University Press. (e-book available in Helka)

Realisation and working methods:
Reading and other eventual material will be posted to Moodle. ECEBB Planning Officer will send instructions how to log in for those who have registered to the course. Note: Moodle instructions will be sent to your University of Helsinki email address (Helsinki.fi). The Moodle enrolment key will also appear at the Course page when the course begins.

Course can also be accepted as:
• KUKA-IK506, KUKA-IK508, KUKA-IK510, KUKA-AL218
• ALKU-E313, ALKU-E320
• Master’s Programme in Society and Change Optional studies (Yhteiskunnallisen muutoksen maisteriohjelma, Valinnaiset opinnot)
• ExpREES optional studies
• Please note that in most bachelor’s/master’s programmes you can transfer credits to optional studies. In case you wish to transfer the credits to some other study unit please contact the teacher responsible for the study unit / module or bachelor’s/master’s programme

Please note:
• Teaching programme might be subject to changes and additions, so please check course-specific information before the start of the course.
• Registration is binding. In case you cannot participate, please cancel your participation in WebOodi. After end of registration time, contact the planning officer (see contact information below) for cancellation.
• In case the registration period has ended, but you wish to participate, please turn to the planning officer (see contact information below).

Other information:
This course is organised by the Aleksanteri Institute East Central European, Balkan and Baltic Studies (ECEBB). You can specialize in ECEBB in Bachelor’s Programme in Cultural Studies and the Master’s Programme in Area and Cultural Studies. ECEBB can also be taken as two study modules, ECEBB I (KUKA-IK500, 30 ECTS) and ECEBB II (ALKU-IK530, 15 ECTS).

Contact person: ECEBB Planning Officer minna.oroza at helsinki.fi
ECEBB: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/aleksanteri-institute/east-central-european-b...

13.8.2019 at 09:00 - 10.9.2019 at 23:59
Log in to view the registration key for Moodle.


Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Tue 10.9.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 12.9.2019
08:15 - 09:45
Tue 17.9.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 19.9.2019
08:15 - 09:45
Tue 24.9.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 26.9.2019
08:15 - 09:45
Tue 1.10.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 3.10.2019
08:15 - 09:45
Tue 8.10.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 10.10.2019
08:15 - 09:45
Tue 15.10.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 17.10.2019
08:15 - 09:45


The results will be announced at the course Moodle site. Information on the distribution of grades (a graph showing how many grades were given and how they were distributed to the grade categories 0-5) will appear on this site once the results have been registered and show on your transcript of studies.


Opintojakso on pakollinen Itäisen Keski-Euroopan, Balkanin ja Baltian tutkimuksen opintokokonaisuus 2 suorittajille.

Itäisen Keski-Euroopan, Balkanin ja Baltian tutkimuksen opintokokonaisuus 1.

Opintojakson suoritettuaan opiskelija ymmärtää IKEBB-alueen kehityksen ja merkityksen Euroopan kontekstissa sekä pystyy suhteuttamaan alueen historiallisen ja kulttuurisen kehityksen piirteet maanosan yleisiin virtauksiin.

Järjestetään lukuvuosittain

Opintojaksossa tarkastellaan IKEBB-alueen maiden kulttuurista ja historiallista kehitystä sekä alueellisesti että erityisesti suhteessa eurooppalaisen ja globaaliin kehitykseen. Opintojaksossa perehdytään alueen kehityksen vaikuttaneita aatteellisia ja geopoliittisia muutoksia. Tarkka sisältö määräytyy kurssikohtaisesti.

Opintojaksossa käytettävä kirjallisuus määräytyy suoritettavan kurssin mukaan.

Opetusmenetelmät ja aktiviteetit määräytyvät kurssikohtaisesti. Palaute kerätään systemaattisesti.

Opintojakso arvostellaan asteikolla 0-5. Opintojakson arvosana määräytyy suoritustavan (esim. luentokurssi) mukaisesti määriteltyjen tehtävien, aktiivisuuden ja muiden suoritusvaatimusten perusteella. Arviointimenetelmät ovat kiinteässä yhteydessä osaamistavoitteisiin ja opintojakson opetusmenetelmiin.

Opintojaksoon soveltuva luentokurssi, johon sisältyy kirjallisuutta ja kurssin mukaan sovellettuja tehtäviä. Vaihtoehtoisesta suoritustavasta esim. kirjallisuuskuulustelusta tai esseestä sovitaan opintojakson vastuuopettajan kanssa. ENS-maisteriohjelman ja EU-opintokokonaisuuden opiskelijat voivat suorittaa opintojakson vain luentokurssilla.