Croatia: From Independence to Independence (55+)

With the outbreak of the Second World War, the kingdom of Yugoslavia fell apart. The idea of a nation founded on constituent Slavic peoples appeared to be a dream shattered. Croatia emerged to assert its independence under the leadership of an extreme right-wing party, an experience so intense for many that they joined efforts to undermine and end the autonomy. In the 1990s, Croatia experienced another national rebirth and ultimately, following a variety of political crises and several years of war, emerged with a new-found independence.

Together, we’ll trace Croatia’s struggles and triumphs from the 1940s to present day. We will explore the political movements in the region and highlight the transformation of Croatian society over the years.

Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Vancouver 6 Stan Markotich $120.00 0 Join Waitlist

What will I learn?

Week 1: Extremism and statehood

We explore the origins of Croatian nationalism. We also examine the formation and creation of the Independent State of Croatia led by Ante Pavelić, a leading figure in the Ustaše movement.

Week 2: The rise of Tito

We explore the demise of the Pavelić regime and Croatia’s reintegration into a Yugoslav state. We’ll examine Croatia’s co-existence with socialism, the rise of Josip Broz Tito’s regime and Croatia's fundamental transformation into a “modern” state and society.

Week 3: Culture, society and economy: The reshaping of Croatian society

We’ll chronicle the transformation of Croatia from an agrarian to an industrial society and see how daily life, the arts and student activism all came to prominence from 1960–1980. New political demands took over the public discourse and they began to underscore a vibrant and resurgent Croatian identity. We’ll focus on the period of the early 1970s, one that saw the emergence of the Croatian Spring (1970–1971).

Week 4: Decay and disintegration

In the 1980s, following Tito's death, Yugoslavia began to unravel. We’ll look at how the destabilization of Yugoslavia impacted Croatia and gave life to a political movement that culminated in a desire for independence.

Week 5: The road to war and independence

We’ll discuss the multiparty elections in Croatia and the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ). We’ll look at The War for Independence (1991–1995) and consider the aftermath.

Week 6: Croatia in the community of nations

We will examine how Croatia adapted to and adopted independence from the late 1990s to today. We’ll investigate how peaceful transitions from power facilitated political and legal reforms. We’ll explore how social and cultural changes have shaped civil society and assess Croatian foreign relations with and ties to the international community.

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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