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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Soviet Union under Khrushchev (1953-1964) (HIST10369)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the history of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev and covers the period from 1953 until Khrushchev¿s dismissal in 1964. The course focuses on domestic and foreign policies of Khrushchev and explores the effect of Khrushchev¿s de-Stalinisation on Soviet system.
Course description After Stalin's death in 1953, the new Soviet leadership began modernisation, or de-Stalinisation, of the Soviet system. In 1964, the leader of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev who orchestrated the process of modernisation was ousted from power and the very process was slowed down and in some areas put to a halt. The aim of the course is to explore the changes that had been introduced in to the political, economic and social systems of the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and debate the nature of the Soviet system. Could Khrushchev reform the Soviet Union? The reforms attempted by Gorbachev in the 1980s led to its collapse. So was ousting Khrushchev from power a way to stop the Soviet Union from collapsing at the beginning of the 1960s?
The topics covered by this course include power struggle in the period from 1953 until 1956; the Secret speech and its effect on the Eastern Europe and on Soviet society; Malenkov's and Khrushchev's economic and social reforms; the Thaw in culture and art; Khrushchev's attempt to transform the party and the relations between the state and the party; and Soviet-American relations after Stalin's death. This course provides a distinctive opportunity for students to explore the role of individual political leader in a political system and, at the same time, obtain an insight on domestic politics of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

1. Stalin's heirs and their state inheritance

Ascendance to power
2. Death of Stalin and power struggle (1953-1956)
3. From 'Secret speech' to 'Anti-Party group'

4. Economic reforms
5. Nationality relations
6. 'The Thaw': de-Stalinisation in culture
7. Society and social policies under Khrushchev
8. Khrushchev's Cold War: the Berlin crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis
9. The Eastern Bloc under Khrushchev

Fall of Khrushchev
10. Reforms and the Party. The Fall of Khrushchev
11. Interpreting Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503767).
Additional Costs none
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge of key political, economic, social, cultural and ethnic developments in the Soviet Union in the period from 1953 until 1964;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
1. Armstrong, J.A., The Politics of Totalitarianism: the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1934 to the present (1961)
2. Bahry, D., Outside Moscow: Power, politics, and budgetary policy in the Soviet republics (1987)
3. Conyngham, W.J., Industrial Management in the Soviet Union: The role of the C.P.S.U. in industrial decision-making 1917-1970 (1973)
4. Filtzer, D.A., Soviet Workers and De-Stalinization: The consolidation of the modern system of Soviet production relations, 1953-1964 ( 2002)
5. Khrushchev, S.N. (ed.) Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, vol. 2; Reformer (1945-1964) ( 2006)
6. Kibita, N., Soviet economic management under Khrushchev: the Sovnarkhoz reform, Routledge, 2013
7. Miller R.F. and Féhér F. (eds) Khrushchev and the Communist World (1984)
8. Nove, A., The Soviet Economic System (1977)
9. Smith J. and Ilic M. (eds) Khrushchev in the Kremlin: Policy and Government in the Soviet Union, 1953-1964 ( 2011)
10. Taubman, W., Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003)
11. Taubman W., Khrushchev S. and Gleason A. (eds) Nikita Khrushchev, ( 2000)
12. Tompson, W.J., Khrushchev: A Political Life (1995)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop further their capacity to pursue independent lines of research; work in groups; present their individual conclusions both in writing and orally.
Course organiserDr Nataliya Kibita
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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