In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Central Europe

  • Introduction
  • Identity and Identities – Region, Nations
  • Human Rights, Diversity, and Minorities
  • Transition, Democracy, Populism
  • Security
  • Political Economy – Models, Institutions
  • European Union: Europeanization, Institutions, Policies
  • Regional cooperation
  • Relations with the West: Germany, United states
  • Relations with the East: Russia, China
  • In Lieu of Conclusion: International Relations in Central Europe

International Relations Central Europe
Zlatko Šabič, Marko Lovec, Kateřina Kočí
  • LAST REVIEWED: 31 July 2019
  • LAST MODIFIED: 31 July 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0264


This article focuses on works that take “central Europe” as a subject of research. There are two conclusions one can draw from the overview that follows. The first one is that there is no common definition of “central Europe” The second one is that in spite of the lack of consensus, the literature on central Europe is abundant. The reason for that seems obvious. Central Europe has never existed merely as a geographic term; it has always been about an idea, about politics, about identity, or the combination of those. The recent memory—the period after the end of the Cold War—proves this point. Furthermore, the “returning” of central Europe to “Europe” after 1989 met an unprecedented response in the academic community; the region has become an attractive study field for scholars. The following overview, which remains and will remain work in progress, is an attempt to capture some of that academic contribution.

About the Name

An investigation of the central European region and especially its definition became a challenge for many authors from different time periods. This section is thus divided into the general part which introduces various concepts attempting to capture the notion of central Europe mostly throughout the 20th century. The second part then explores more recent volumes which try to reconceptualize the role and place of this region taking into consideration the changes that central Europe has faced since around 2000.

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