Post Communist Russia - POLI5790

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22

Private study hours: 128

Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

* Assignment, 1500 words, 15%
* Essay, 3000 words, 35%
* Exam, 2 hours, 50%

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

* Gel'man, Vladimir, Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes (Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015).

* Gill, Graeme, Building an Authoritarian Polity. Russia in Post-Soviet Times (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015).

* Monaghan, Andrew, The New Politics of Russia: Interpreting Change (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2016).

* Sakwa, Richard, Russian Politics and Society, 4th edn (London, Routledge, 2008).

* Sakwa, Richard, Putin Redux: Power and Contradictions in Contemporary Russia (London: Routledge, 2014).

* Wegren, Stephen (ed.), Putin’s Russia: Past Imperfect, Future Uncertain, 6th edn (Boulder, CO, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) (ebook available as well).

* White, Stephen, Richard Sakwa and Henry E. Hale (eds), Developments in Russian Politics 8, (Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2014).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1: Contextualise Russia's post-Communist transition in the broader pattern of post-Cold War comparative politics

2: Understand the problems facing the development of democracy in Russia

3: Have a detailed understanding of the main institutions, political processes and policies (including economic, foreign, security and defence policy)

4: Identify the major political forces in contemporary Russia

5: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of post-Communist Russian leadership

6: Be familiar with the works of the major writers about post-Communist Russia

7: Use appropriate political science concepts and theories in your analysis


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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