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Module Code: POU44171

Module Name: Russian Politics after Communism 2021-22

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 1
  • Contact Hours: 1.5 hours per week
  • Module Personnel: Dr Noah Buckley
  • Office Hours: TBA

Learning Outcomes

This module will familiarize you with Russian domestic and international politics in a descriptive way by giving you the lay of the land in terms of important events, figures, institutions, and dynamics. The module will also situate Russian politics in relation to other academic research in political science--you will be able to use the knowledge you gain here to better understand corruption, growing authoritarianism, and other factors in the world at large. Research will be presented that puts Russian and other post-Soviet politics into a larger global perspective.


Module Learning Aims

On successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Have an understanding of how the Russian political system has developed since the fall of communism in 1991
  • Be familiar with academic research on Russian politics and political economy, as well as related topics such as authoritarianism and natural resources in politics
  • Be familiar with the connections between Russian domestic politics and Russia’s geopolitical posture

Module Content

After over 70 years of Soviet communist rule, by the 1990s the Russian Federation found itself struggling with political disintegration, chaotic and weak democracy, and caustic legacies of an economy not built for capitalist markets. This course explores the evolution of Russian politics from the dynamic times of Gorbachev to the “vertical of power” in Putin’s third term in office to the intrigues that are rocking Russian politics today. This module covers topics including the collapse of the Soviet political and economic systems, Russian political institutions such as presidentialism and federalism, the neverending scourge of corruption, “petropolitics,” Russia's political parties, the opposition and fight for democracy in Russia, and current social movements in the country.

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Recommended Reading

Treisman, D. (2012). The return: Russia's journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev. Simon and Schuster.

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Assessment Details

Essay - weighted 40%
Exam - weighted 60%

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