HY232 aims to explain the history of these regions as expressed and moulded by the peoples and their leaders during a particularly turbulent period in European history. Attention will be paid to international developments and to the two European wars, and the Russian Revolution which had a profound impact on these countries’ freedom to determine their destiny. The study of the inter-war period will include a debate of the reasons for the collapse of democratic institutions, the emergence of patriotic and anti-Semitic movements, economic failures and responses to German and Italian aggression. The establishment, development and the collapse of Soviet domination of the region after the Second World War will be discussed. In addition political, economic and cultural theories, which formed the background to the emergence of the independent states of Eastern and South Eastern Europe, will be considered. The course will develop these themes in the history of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania and the Baltic States. Final lectures will concentrate on the transition from Communism to democratic states. The break up of Yugoslavia and the wars in the Balkans will be considered in a separate lecture.