‘Comparative Politics of the New Europe’ Course Offered During J-Term St. Thomas Newsroom September 16, 2010 Why go to Central Europe in January? Not for the weather, that’s for sure, but Professors Steve Hoffman and Kenneth Kemp’s J-Term course “Comparative Politics of the New Europe” will give students a unique opportunity to study how the fall of Communism has affected Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. Students will visit Poland and Lithuania, the countries whose politics brought down the Soviet empire; Belarus, where the government is not sure that that was a good thing; and Ukraine, which vacillates uncertainly between a Western and a Russian orientation. The course will ask: What made two of these countries join the European Union and NATO at their first opportunity and the other two to chart a different course? What opportunities and challenges has their new situation in the world brought to these four countries? To what extent is politics the same everywhere and how is it different in other countries? Students will spend about a week in each country, hearing from local academics and officials about the politics of their own country. In addition, students will have a chance to experience the vibrant cultural life of each city – their restaurants, theaters, cafés and parks. “The course will be relatively inexpensive compared to other study-abroad opportunities, making it a bargain that no student should pass up,” Kemp remarked. For details see the UMAIE website, or contact Kemp, (651) 962-5360, or Hoffman, (651) 962-5723. The registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 4, but registration before that is strongly encouraged.