Introduction To East European Studies: Why And How Shall We Study Eastern Europe?

Understanding The Concepts Of Social Sciences

Dr. Gulnaz Sharafutdinova
Dr. Gulnaz Sharafutdinova


Dr. Gulnaz Sharafutdinova joined King’s Russia Institute as senior lecturer in September 2013. Previously, Gulnaz worked at Miami University (Ohio), where she was an associate professor of political science and international studies and an associate of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. Gulnaz is a leading expert on federalism and sub-national politics in Russia, with articles appearing in Comparative Politics, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Problems of Post-Communism, Europe-Asia Studies and elsewhere. She holds a PhD from the George Washington University, and speaks fluent Russian, Tatar and English.

Module Summary:

This Module provides basic and advanced knowledge about the research area of Eastern Europe and propose different positions in the ‘area studies vs. scholarly disciplines’ debate. Basic research methods and tools to deal with Eastern Europe will be explained and trained as well as different argumentation strategies will be presented. Therefore not only theoretical aspects will be taken into considerations but also practical examples from the real-world-policy such as the Ukrainian crises will be analyzed and discussed in this Module.

Educational Goals:

  • You will learn how to work methodologically sound on your research question dealing with Eastern Europe and which argumentation strategies can be applied.
  • You will be able to build a common basis for you and your peers from which to proceed to further modules in Eastern European Studies.
  • You will be provided with practical skills concerning active participating in controversial discussions, presenting and supporting 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
  • Implementing any two from the proposed tasks associated with the first Units.
  • Developing a research question on any aspect of East European politics and society, contributing it to the Discussion Board and commenting on two other research questions.
  • Contributing at least one separate post and four comments on the Current Events Discussion Board.
  • Creating the final research paper based on a research question of your choice.

Key Facts:

  • 12 ECTS
  • 12 weeks
  • 1195 Euro
  • Optional On-site Workshop in February each year 

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