This course presents a broad introduction to contemporary politics and society in Russia. What was the Soviet Union, and why did democracy fail in Russia after the USSR fell apart? What kind of regime has Vladimir Putin constructed, and how did he and his team do it? How can we understand Putin’s command and popularity at home? What are the regime’s goals at home and in the broader world, and what kind of challenges do Russia pose to the West? How can we understand the nature of the new Russian capitalism? How is society changing? What comes after Putin? The course is recommended for juniors and seniors but is open to all students.
Please note, the course's previous ID was POL SCI 129B. POL SCI 141A and POL SCI 129B are the same course.
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.