Post Communist Russia - PO579

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) PROF R Sakwa







We examine the main challenges facing post-communist Russia and in particular assess the development of democracy. We discuss the main institutions and political processes: the presidency, parliament, federalism, elections, party development and foreign policy, as well as discuss Yeltin’s, Putin’s and Medvedev's leadership. We end with a broader evaluation of issues like the relationship of markets to democracy, civil society and its discontents, nationalism, political culture and democracy and Russia's place in the world.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

150 hours including 22 hours lecture/seminar; 128 study hours

Method of assessment

50% coursework (essay of 3,000 words (35%) class paper of 1,500 words (15%); 50% exam (2hr)

Indicative reading

Bacon, E., Contemporary Russia (London, Palgrave , 2014 )
Fish, MS Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005)
Gel'man, Vladimir, Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes (Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)
Monaghan, Andrew, The New Politics of Russia: Interpreting Change (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2016)
Remington Thomas, Politics in Russia, 4th edn. (London, Pearson Longman, 2006)
Sakwa R, Russian Politics and Society, 4th ed. (London, Routledge, 2008)
Sakwa R, Putin: Russia's Choice, 2nd ed (London, Routledge , 2008)
Sakwa, R, Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia (London, Routledge, 2014)
Tsygankov, A, Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin: Honor in International Relations (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Wegren S (ed.), Putin’s Russia, 6th edn. (Boulder, CO, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)
White S, Sakwa R and Hale H (eds), Developments in Russian Politics, 8th edn. (London, Palgrave, 2014)
Zygar’, Mikhail, All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin (New York, Public Affairs, 2016)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students will:
- Contextualise Russia's post-communist transition in the broader pattern of post-Cold War comparative politics;
- Understand the problems facing the development of democracy in Russia;
- Have a detailed understanding of the main institutions and political processes;
- Identify the major political forces in contemporary Russia;
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of post-communist Russian leadership;
- Be familiar with the works of the major writers about post-Russia.

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