Russia in International Affairs - POLI8103

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Tom Casier checkmark-circle


This module seeks to offer profound insights into the role of post-communist Russia in international affairs. It focuses both on the regional and global dimension. The module seeks to transcend easy stereotypes and opts for a pluralist theoretical approach. Identities and perceptions are regarded as key to understanding Russia's contemporary foreign policy. Actors, decision-making and objectives of foreign policy are approached against a historical background and linked to domestic developments.

Russia’s foreign policy is studied at three levels: bilateral (with the EU, the US, post-Soviet countries, PR China, Middle East), regional (Eurasian integration initiatives) and multilateral (Russia’s position within international organisations such as the United Nations, the OSCE, WTO, etc.). Different dimensions get specific attention: security, trade, energy, integration. Case studies will focus on topic theme (at the time of writing: Ukraine, Syria, sanctions, etc.)


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 176
Total study hours: 200

Method of assessment

Essay, 5000 words (100%).

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Reading List (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Tsygankov A. (2016), Russia's foreign policy: change and continuity in national identity (Rowmann & Littlefield)

Cadier D. & M. Light (2015), Russia's foreign policy: ideas, domestic politics and external relations (Palgrave)

Sakwa R. (2014), Frontline Ukraine. Crisis in the borderlands (I.B. Tauris).

Morozov, V. (2015), Russia’s post-colonial identity (Palgrave)

Dragneva R. & Wolczuk K. (2013), Eurasian economic integration: law, policy and politics (Edward Elgar)

Haukkala, H. (2011), The EU-Russia Strategic Partnership: The Limits of Post-Sovereignty in International Relations (Palgrave)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1: have an advanced understanding of the position of Russia, its foreign policy and its relations within wider Europe and within the world

2: have an advanced understanding of Russian foreign policy and security doctrines, of the main actors and objectives in foreign policy-making

3: critically analyse the foreign policy and external relations of Russia, both regionally and globally and in different dimensions (political, economic, security, identity)

4: have a profound understanding of the post-Cold War international structures of governance and their impact on the international and European agenda

5: place the role of Russian foreign policy in its historical context

6: have an advanced understanding diverging theoretical interpretations of Russian foreign policy

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Students who successfully complete this module

1: work with theoretical knowledge at the forefront of their discipline

2: be aware of the ethical dimensions of the scholarly work done in their discipline in general as well as of their own work in particular

3: have a comprehensive understanding of methods and methodologies in their discipline

4: undertake analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory areas of knowledge

5: have a level of conceptual understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate research, advanced scholarship and methodologies and argue alternative approaches

6: be reflective and self-critical in their research work

7: engage in academic and professional communication orally and in writing

8: have independent learning ability required for continuing professional study


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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