Why are some post-communist countries more politically and economically successful than others? What underlies the many conflicts in this region? What can happen in the future, and what can we learn from the East European experience? This course is designed to help you answer these and similar questions. Topics include state-socialism and its collapse, the emergence of ethnic and religious conflict, the transitions to democracy and market economics, entry into NATO and the European Union, democratic backsliding, and Russia's conflict with Ukraine.