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DSPO 2515A - National Stereotypes and Identity Building: Central Europe & the Balkans in Comparative Perspective

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Students should have basic notions of the process of nation building in the 19th and 20th centuries. A prior knowledge of Central European and Balkan history is not required, but students should read media and be able to identify global issues involving Central European and Balkan countries: refugee crises, fight against terrorism, economic crisis etc.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to provide the tools to analyze the impact of national stereotypes on identity building. Unconsciously, we form perceptions of political and social phenomena that shape our attitudes, emotions and our sense of belonging to a certain nation. The goal of the course is to analyze the key elements of national identity, the role of stereotypes in the identity building process and their consequences in a European and international context. Central Europe and the Balkans will be used as a case study, focusing on how each nation is seen “from inside”, by its neighbors and outside of the region. The first part of the course is theoretical, the second and third parts are case studies. The course will be based on the analysis of symbols, political discourses and educational material available in these countries, as well as popular culture, including media, internet, cinematography, literature, and sports.


BERONJA, Sanja (Chargée de mission à la Direction des admissions, Sciences Po)

Required reading

JOHNSON Lonnie R., (1996), Central Europe Enemies, Neighbors, Friends, New York, Oxford University Press

Additional required reading

  • LIPPMANN Walter, (1945) (reprint of 1922 edition), Public Opinion, New York, the MacMillan Company
  • TODOROVA Maria (2009) updated edition, Imagining the Balkans, New York, Oxford University Press
  • HOBSBAWM Eric J., (1992), 2nd edition, Nations and Nationalism since 1780, programme, myth, reality, Cambridge University Press; Introduction
  • RENAN Ernest,”What is a Nation?”, text of a conference delivered at the Sorbonne on March 11th , 1882 in Ernest Renan Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?, Paris, Press-Pocket, 1992