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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2016/2017

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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 This semester-length MSc course examines the primary actors, institutions, ideas and developments in contemporary Russia (also known as the Russian Federation). In particular, it analyses the consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union and the impact of the Soviet Union on contemporary Russia. It looks in detail at Russian state and institution-building. Foci change each year but 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.

Outline Content

Please note that the exact content may change from year-to-year, but the general framework will be similar to the following:

WEEK 1
General introduction to course
WEEK 2
The USSR: origins, structures, development
WEEK 3
Gorbachev┐s perestroika and the collapse of the USSR
WEEK 4
The politics of Russian economic reform
WEEK 5
Executive-legislative relations
WEEK 6
Centre-periphery relations
WEEK 7
Russian elections and political parties
WEEK 8
Civil society, uncivil society and quasi-civil society
WEEK 9
Ukraine and Russian foreign policy
WEEK 10
Post-Soviet democratisation

The course is hands-on, taught through one lecture and seminar per week. The lecture will cover events, facts, background, and overviews of the week┐s topic. Each seminar is attended by a maximum of 13 students. The seminars do not duplicate lectures, but are intended for you to explore themes relevant to the lectures of that week in greater depth and in discussion with fellow students. Participation in seminars will be assessed. Questions, comments and discussion on points of interest are encouraged throughout the course.. The course is cross-disciplinary and open to students with backgrounds in politics, IR, other social sciences, history, modern languages and other humanities.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
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
Contacts
Course organiserDr Luke March
Tel: (0131 6)50 4241
Email: L.March@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMrs Gillian Macdonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
Email: gillian.macdonald@ed.ac.uk
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