Tsygankov - PLSI/IR407 Politics of Russia

Syllabus for Guidance - Politics of Russia PLSI/IR407 (Spring 2013)

Andrei P. Tsygankov

NOTA BENE! SYLLABUS IS FOR GUIDANCE ONLY! THE INSTUCTOR WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE MOST RECENT SYLLABUS ON COURSE START DATE!

Andrei P. Tsygankov

Description:

This course seeks to understand Russia’s political system and change. It is a part of the two courses-set on Eurasia. The course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive coverage of Russia before and after Soviet dissolution, particularly as viewed from Russia’s perspective. It seeks to accomplish the following goals.

Background knowledge.

First, it seeks to understand Russia’s political system in historical and contemporary setting. It should provide students with background historical knowledge relevant for understanding the region en large, as well as the knowledge of Russia’s main patterns of policy formation and policy orientation.

Contemporary issues.

Second, the course seeks to provide students with basic knowledge of contemporary issues of the post-communist development of Russia and, to the extend possible, the entire Eurasian region. We will be concerned with the Soviet collapse, Russia’s political, economic, and security development, among other issues.

Analytical perspectives.

Third, the course will view Russia’s development in the light of major analytical perspectives that have been developed in Russian area studies as a discipline. In particular, students will learn to think about our subject matter in terms of two major rival schools of thought: Modernism or Westernism, according to which Russia is in the process of incorporating Western institutions and Traditionalism that argues that Russia is fundamentally different from the West and will be unable to adjust to liberal democratic values that are deemed exclusively as a product of Europe and its Modernity project.

Critical thinking.

Finally, the course should help in developing analytical abilities through critical reading and writing. Students will develop standards of a “good” argument and will learn to apply them in their writing and oral presentations

Requirements:

Attendence and participation – 10% of the grade

Midterm Exam – 40%

In-class presentation ( 7-10 minutes) – 20%

Critical review paper (10-15 pages) or Final Exam – 30%

The format of paper and presentation will be discussed separately.

Readings:

Poe, M. T. The Russian Moment in World History. Princeton, 2003.

Suny, R. G., ed. The Structure of Soviet History. Oxford, 2003.

Wegren, S., ed. Return to Putin’s Russia. 5th ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.

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NOTA BENE! SYLLABUS IS FOR GUIDANCE ONLY! THE INSTUCTOR WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE MOST RECENT SYLLABUS ON COURSE START DATE!