Fall 2020

Politics in Russia

, 4 pts, GU4453


This course begins by studying the late Soviet era—the 1970s through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991--in order to understand what kind of political system and political culture Russia inherited. We spend some time analyzing why and how the Soviet Union—a superpower for 75 years—disintegrated suddenly and for the most part, peacefully. Then, the bulk of the course focuses on state-building in the Russian Federation. Russia’s effort to construct new political institutions, a functioning economy, and a healthy society represents one of the greatest political dramas of our time. Beginning with Yeltsin’s presidency in 1991 and continuing through the current eras of Putin, Medvedev, and Putin again, we consider phenomena such as economic reform, nationalism, separatism, federalism, war, legal reform, civil society, and democratization. The third part of the course addresses Russia’s foreign relations. Like its predecessor states, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, Russia is concerned with what kind of state it is (or should be) and where it stands in the international order. We will study how Russian elites make sense of Russia’s identity, as well as Russia’s policies toward the US, Europe, its “near abroad,” the Middle East, and China.

Section Number
Call Number
Day, Time & Location
TR 1:10PM-2:25PM To be announced
Elise Giuliano