The post-1985 history Eastern Europe countries as well as those of the former USSR is the history of a profound transformation of the political, economic and social structures that emerged as a result of the communist experiment in the first half of the 20th century. The “past” which is discussed in Vladimir Fedorin’s course “After the Empire”, imperceptibly seeps into the present and continues exist within it, predetermining the content and conflicts of our time.
The course examines how the countries of the socialist camp attempted to make the leap into modernity. What did the “second world” represent on the eve of the collapse? Why did some countries (Central Europe, the Baltics) manage to jump across the abyss separating Soviet-style authoritarianism from modern market democracy in one leap, while others (most of the republics of the former USSR) are lagging behind? What price did the people pay for the decades of “transition”? When and under what conditions will the former Soviet people and their descendants manage to break out of the vicious circle of utopias and dystopias?