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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: The Politics of Post-Soviet Russia (PGSP11149)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the politics and government of the contemporary Russian Federation. Format varies each year but follows the following general outline. It commences with theoretical approaches to the USSR, and analysis of the disintegration of the Soviet state and its consequences. It then looks in detail at Russian state and institution-building. Foci generally include party systems, civil society and human rights, democratisation in theory and practice, the nature of post-communism, comparative post-Soviet government and the international relations of the post-Soviet space.
Course description WEEK 1 (15 Sept)
General introduction to course (political culture lecture)
WEEK 2 (22 Sept)
Lecture: The USSR: origins, structures, development
Seminar: Approaches to the Soviet system
WEEK 3 (29 Sept)
Lecture: Gorbachev's perestroika
Seminar: The collapse of the USSR
WEEK 4 (6 Oct)
Lecture: The politics of Russian economic reform
Seminar: 'Clans', oligarchs and the Russian executive
WEEK 5 (13 Oct)
Lecture: The evolution of executive-legislative relations in Russia
Seminar: Putin, Medvedev and the evolution of executive-legislative relations
WEEK 6 (20 Oct)
Lecture: Centre-periphery relations
Seminar: Chechnya and the North Caucasus
WEEK 7 (27 Oct)
Lecture: Russian elections
Seminar: Political parties
DVD session: film tbc
WEEK 8 (3 Nov)
Lecture: Civil society, uncivil society and quasi-civil society
Seminar: Social change in contemporary Russia
WEEK 9 (10 Nov)
Lecture: Origins and evolution of the 2014 Russia-Ukraine conflict
Seminar: Ukraine and Russian foreign policy
WEEK 10 (17 Nov)
Lecture: Post-Soviet democratisation: themes and developments
Seminar: Characterising Russian 'democracy'
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
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 knowledge of the key institutions and processes in post-Soviet Politics
  2. Understand analytical and conceptual approaches to Russian and Post-Soviet Politics
  3. Analyse and evaluate alternative explanations for particular political developments and events in Russia and the CIS
  4. Develop a personal assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Russian political system
  5. Understand how studies of countries, cultures and regions fit into the disciplines of comparative politics and International relations
Reading List
Eric Shiraev, Russian Government and Politics (2nd edn, 2013)
Richard Sakwa, Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia (2014)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Luke March
Tel: (0131 6)50 4241
Course secretaryMrs Gillian Macdonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
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