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INTR 282 Eastern Europe: Philosophy and Reform

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  • Spring 2010
    Magdalena Modrzejewska
    Spring 2010 — TR 12:30 - 13:45

    The course presents the philosophical ideas (Marxism, liberalism, Catholic social teaching) at the roots of economic reforms and transformations in Eastern and Central Europe. The course will analyze the philosophical basis of the communist/socialist economy as well as economic practice - its successes and malfunctions. It presents the western critics of socialism (Mises, Hayek) and their impact on the rebirth of classical liberalism in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1960s, and 1980s. It will also expound other, non-liberal attempts at reform taken by two groups: the revisionist one with a Marxist background that requested only the adjustment of the communist/socialist system and another inspired by the Catholic social teaching that demanded the abolition of socialism. It will use the case of particular countries (Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and former Yugoslavia) to present theoreticians who became politicians and have had a major impact on the contemporary situation.