Study of the government and politics of Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. The course will examine the historical legacy of communism and analyze the process of political and economic transition since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Offered odd Spring.
Most current editions of the following:
Any appropriate text for a course in Russian and Eurasian politics.
Soviet Politics: 1917-1991
By McAuley, Mary (Oxford UP) Recommended
Politics in Russia
By Remington, Thomas ( Longman) Recommended
The Soviet Colossus: History and Aftermath
By Kort, Michael (M.E. Sharpe) Recommended
Russian and Eurasian Politics
By Cichock, Mark ( Longman) Recommended
Russia After the Fall
By Kuchins, Andrew (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) Recommended
Contemporary Russian Politics: A Reader
By Brown, Archie (Oxford UP) Recommended
By Herspring, Dale, ed. (Rowman and Littlefield) Recommended
To compare and contrast the structure and functioning of Soviet and post-Soviet political and economic structures in Russia and select other countries of the former Soviet Union.
To explore the historical, ideological and institutional legacy of the Soviet period.
To examine the challenges faced by Russia and the other successor states as they make the economic and political transition away from communism.
To relate developments in Russia and other successor states to theories of democratic transition.
To investigate Russia’s relations with the U.S. and other countries.
Describe and explain significant events and periods of leadership that shaped the development of contemporary Russia and Eurasia, including those of Peter the Great, Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev, Gorbachev and Yeltsin.
Describe and explain the principles of Marxism-Leninism.
Compare and contrast the workings of a command and market economy.
Explain the factors leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Describe Russia’s 1993 Constitution and assess its impact, in particular, the balance of power among political actors.
Explain the role of the executive, legislature, and political parties in Russian political life.
Describe and assess efforts to reform the military and judiciary.
Explain the concept of political culture and describe Russian political culture.
Explain the practice of Russian Federalism.
Explain the economic transition in Russia, including the policy of shock therapy and methods of privatization.
Assess the current state of the Russian economy and describe current reform efforts.
Explain Russia’s fundamental foreign policy goals and assess Russia’s success in achieving them.
Compare and contrast the political and economic transition of Russia with selected other post-Soviet successor states.
Apply theories of democratic transitions to Russia and post-Soviet successor states.
Topical Outline (major areas of coverage): Note: A significant, intensive writing component is required for this course. The requirement may be satisfied by a single type-written paper of twelve pages in length or more, properly cited, or by multiple assignments of equivalent length.
Fundamentals of Russian history
The Soviet Period
Ideology of Marxism-Leninism
Principles and institutions of government and economic planning
Gorbachev: Glasnost and Perestroika
The collapse of the USSR
Politics in Russia
Politics and political institutions in the Russian Federation
Representation and participation in the Russian Federation
Regionalism in Russia
Political economy and development in the Russian federation
Foreign policy challenges
Politics in the former Soviet republics
Prospects for the future
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical
outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.