The development of state and democracy in Russia is key to understanding how modern states are made and the enduring push and pull between democracy and autocracy. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine reflects the contradictions between Russia’s quest for state-building and internal limitations on democratic participation and representation. Where do these contradictions come from and how has Russia historically navigated the twin pressures to be a strong state and respect political liberties? This upper-level course in political science looks at three periods – the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Putin’s Russia – to compare and contrast the trajectory of reform of Russian political institutions and thus understand the internal political dynamics shaping Russian politics and history – important lessons for students of comparative politics and policy makers today.
Instructor: Otto Kienitz
This course number was originally listed as PS149.