HSEM105 Ethnicity and Nation Building in South-East Europe



What is a Balkan nation? Does it really exist? Is the mixture of ethnicities and national identities in Southeastern Europe unique in the world or it is just another target of case studies? The Balkans have been the detonator of at least one world war and the area was again a top news during the wars that accompanied the disintegration of a Balkan country like Yugoslavia. Hatred and history seem to determine the attitude of too many people in Southeastern Europe, which is one of the regions with the least degree of predictability. On the other hand, though, the Balkan people is among those people, who enjoy life in a most extravert way. Balkans are unpredictable, but does not predictability restrain the free will of each human being?

Nation building is a tough question for most, if not for all the human race. Each nation is the product of unique circumstances and the Balkans are not an exception to this rule, but the example of the Southeastern European passions in this regard might help with understanding better the world of today. This is in fact the main purpose of this course, which offers ample opportunities for comparisons, assessments and individual conclusions.

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Southeast European Studies (in English)


Prof. Momchil Metodiev DSc

Course Description:



After completing the course students will have a basic knowledge about the origins and present state of the Southeastern European nations and about what is unique and what is universal of the nation building in the region. Students will be also capable of a critical approach to a number of scholarly interpretations and theories, usually considered as axiomatic truths.


English language proficiency; a minimum of knowledge about the political and historical problems of Europe and at least of some of the Balkan countries.

Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:




Crampton, R.J. Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century (London and New York: Routledge, 1994)

Jelavich, B. History of the Balkans. Vols.1-2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983)

Tzvetkov, Pl.S. A History of the Balkans: A Regional Overview from a Bulgarian Perspective. Vols.1-2 (San Francisco: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1993)



Students should prepare a short essay, not exceeding one page or 100Kb. The essay should be defended, i.e. students should answer questions, asked by the professor about the essay. There will be also a test at the end of the course. The grade results from the average grade of the defense of the essay and of the test.

Active participation in the forum under this course in the MOODLE system will give a bonus of one unit, added to the final grade. The forum consists of answering questions, asked by the professor and of debating various subjects, related to the topics of the seminars.

Two students should not write an essay on one and the same subject.


1.What Is a Nation?

2.The Role of the State in Nation Building.

3.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Albanians.

4.The Albanians and the Illyrians.

5.The Albanians and the Italians.

6.The Albanians and the Bulgarians.

7.The Albanians and the Slavs.

8.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Greeks.

9.Ancient and Modern Greeks.

10.The Greeks and the Wallachians.

11.The Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Thracians.

12.The Greeks and the Slavs.

13.The Greeks and the Bulgarians.

14.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Romanians.

15.The Romanians and the Romans.

16.The Romanians and the Native Dacians.

17.The Romanians and the Slavs.

18.The Romanians and the Bulgarians.

19.The Romanians and the Hungarians.

20.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Bulgarians.

18.The Bulgarians and the Turks.

19.The Bulgarians and the Slavs.

20.The Bulgarians and the Greeks.

21.The Bulgarian and the Slavic Languages.

22.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Hungarians.

23.The Hungarians and the Turks.

24.The Hungarians and the Bulgarians.

25.The Hungarians and the Slavs.

26.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Slovenes.

27.The Slovenes and the Croats.

28.The Slovenes and the Serbs.

29.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Serbs.

30.Russian and Serbian Pan-Slavism.

31.The Serbs and the Croats.

32.The Serbs and the Bulgarians.

33.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Croats.

34.The Croats and the Bulgarians.

35.The Croats and the Hungarians.

36.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Turks.

37.The Turks and the Greeks.

38.The Turks and the Other Turkic Nations.

39.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Montenegrins.

40.The Montenegrins and the Serbs.

41.Myths and Realities about the Origin of the Present-Day Macedonians.

42.The Ancient and the Modern Macedonians.

43.The Macedonians and the Serbs.

44.The Macedonians and the Bulgarians.

45.Are the Moldovans a Separate Nation or Part of the Romanians Nations?

46.The Moldovans and the Ukrainians.

47.The Moldovans and the Russians.