This course presents a broad introduction to contemporary politics and society in Russia. What was Soviet-type socialism and how is its legacy shaping post-Soviet Russia? Where is Russia headed: toward democracy as it is known in the West, a new form of authoritarianism, reversion to the old system, or something else? The political upheaval and social movements that swept Russia and the other Soviet republics during the Gorbachev period will be explored. We will then examine the Yeltsin and Putin periods and current problems of political change. The topics to be investigated include the transformation of political institutions, dilemmas of movement from a command economy to a market economy, struggles among emerging social interests, public opinion, social integration and disintegration, nationalism, and Russia’s place in the world. The course is recommended for juniors and seniors only but is open to all students.
Note: Course description is from Summer 2010
Requirements consist of a midterm and final exam and attendance at all class sessions. Each of the two exams counts for one-third of the grade. Attendance in lectures and discussion sections, participation in discussions and debates, and performance on quizzes count for one-third of the grade. Students are expected to do the readings for the week in their entirety before the meeting of their discussion section.
The readings for the class are in the three texts listed below and the course reader. The pieces that appear in the reader are marked with an asterisk(*); all other readings are in the books. The reader is available at University Copy Service, 2425 Channing Way. Students are required to obtain the books and the reader.