Analyzing East European Societies: Social Legacies And Structures

Discovering Eastern Europe

Dr. Kerstin Zimmer
Kerstin Zimmer


Kerstin Zimmer studied political sciences, sociology and economics at Frankfurt University. In 2004, she obtained her PhD at the same university. Her research interests include: society and political transformation, migration studies and minorities in Central and Eastern Europe. She has published numerous books, articles and papers dealing with e.g. Peace and Conflict Studies and the role of East European states in within the European Migration System.

Module Summary:

This Module deals with the broad field of East European Societies, their structures and the structural changes. It will focus on historical legacies and the room they left for political actors to implement reforms after 1991. Relations between such institutions as church and state, individual and collective, the majority and minorities will be analyzed and discussed. In addition, some case studies concerning political and social movements in Eastern Europe such as Solidarnosc and Euromaidan will be the objects for research. Moreover, practical and descriptive aspects such as Every Day Life under Socialism will be treating through the units. 

Educational Goals:

  • You will be able to deal with high quantity of statistical data concerning different aspects of East European societies and learn how to use them for your research.
  • You will get a sound grasp of the social problems and opportunities created by the transition in Eastern Europe and understand the social structures that have emerged in the region.
  • You will be provided with practical skills concerning active participating in controversial discussions, presenting and defending your own arguments and elaborating a well-structured research paper.


Besides studying the units of the module, the following assignments are mandatory:

  • Participation in the in-house class or submission of a compensatory assignment.
  • Completing a Discussion Board Task including an initial posting as well as commenting three postings of other students.
  • Completing a task for Data collection and interpretation.
  • Writing a proposal for the final paper on a relevant aspect referring to historical phenomena from the Eastern Europe.
  • Creating the final research paper based on the content of the Module and the previous task.

Key Facts:

  • 8 ECTS
  • 12 weeks
  • 1.195 Euro
  • Optional On-site Workshop in February each year

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