UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SEHI2007 The Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia 

UCL Credits: 30

Total Learning Hours: 300

ECTS: 15

Level: Advanced

Course Unit: 1.0

Full Year

Module Coordinator: Dr Bojan Aleksov

Taught By: Dr Bojan Aleksov

To find out more about this module, please contact the Module Coordinator

Weekly Contact Hours: 2.0 (1 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial per week)
Prerequisites: None
Compulsory Module for: N/A

Summative Assessment

Coursework Essay 2500 words (25%)

Coursework Essay 2500 words (25%)

3 Hour Examination (50%)

Formative Assessment

Student presentation with feedback from the tutor

Module Outline

This course gives an introduction to the history and culture of Yugoslavia. Created in a relatively small area, characterised by great geographic, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity after the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empire, Yugoslavia’s political elites had throughout its existence struggled for a viable and lasting model for a common South Slavic country as desired by the great majority of its inhabitants. Their failure resulted not only in the disintegration of Yugoslavia and its reconstitution into yet more ‘nation-states’ but was also followed by bloody inter-ethnic wars. The course concentrates on the political history but also looks at economic, cultural, religious, linguistic and other related issues which influenced the history of Yugoslavia. The aim of the course is to give the student a framework for understanding modern Yugoslav history and culture and the reasons behind its two creations and collapses during the short twentieth century that historian Eric Hobsbawm famously called ‘The Age of Extremes’. Students with an interest in complexities of national identity and nationalism will have a chance to deepen their knowledge studying a specific country where these issues played the major role behind all recent historic development. There are weekly lectures and classes.

Indicative Texts

  • John R. Lampe, Yugoslavia as history: twice there was a country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2000).
  • John Allcock, Explaining Yugoslavia (London, 2000)
  • Ivo Banac, ‘The origins and development of the concept of Yugoslavia (to 1945)’, in Martin van den Heuvel & Jan G. Siccama (eds.), The disintegration of Yugoslavia (Amsterdam, 1992), pp. 1-22.
  • Aleksa Djilas, The contested country: Yugoslav unity and communist revolution 1919-1953 (Cambridge, Mass., 1991), pp.1-15.
  • Dimitrije Djordjevic, ‘The Yugoslav phenomenon’ in Joseph Held (ed), The Columbia history of Eastern Europe in the twentieth century (New York, 1991) pp. 306-44.
  • Stevan K. Pavlowitch, Yugoslavia (London, 1971).
  • Stevan K. Pavlowitch, Serbia: the history behind the name (London, 2002).
  • Dennison Rusinow, ‘The Yugoslav peoples’, in Peter F. Sugar (ed.), Eastern European nationalism in the twentieth century (Lanham, Md., 1995), pp. 305-411.



Course Code



Full Year AffiliatesRegister for SEHI2007As Above 15
Affiliates here for Term 1 onlyRegister for SEHI2007ATwo Coursework Essays (100%) 7.5
Affiliates here for Terms 2 and 3 onlyRegister for SEHI2007BTwo Coursework Essays (100%) 7.5


Please note: This outline is accurate at the time of publication. Minor amendments may be made prior to the start of the academic year.