GOVT-243 State and Politics in the Former Soviet Union
Fall for 2015-2016
Faculty:
This course is an introduction to the political systems of the Former Soviet Union. In 1991, after seven decades of existence, the Soviet Union disintegrated, and its fifteen constituent republics went their separate ways as independent nation-states. While this course focuses primarily on Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan--the largest and most important of the “successor states”--it will also explore the very different paths followed by the others over the last decade and a half.

The objective of the course is to understand the new political structures and the new patterns of politics in the post-Soviet states, the changing resources for power and authority, and the new policy issues facing the successor states. We shall also look back at the political system of the Soviet Union, the common ancestor of all the present post-Soviet states, to understand how their shared inheritance has influenced them all. Lastly, we shall attempt to discern the future directions of change of the post-Soviet states, and the significance of those changes for their neighbors and the world.


Major Topics:

I. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SOVIET SYSTEM
II. THE FOUNDING OF A NEW RUSSIAN STATE
III. COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON THE FORMER SOVIET UNION (I): UKRAINE
IV. COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON THE FORMER SOVIET UNION (II): CENTRAL ASIA
V. ISSUES IN THE POST-SOVIET POLITICS OF THE FSU


This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 293 State/Pol of Former Soviet Union in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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