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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2021/2022

Politics and Society in Post-Soviet States

Type: Elective course (Political Science and World Politics)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 3 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Instructors: Aleksey Gilev
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course examines the political, social and economic development of the twelve post-Soviet states since 1991. The course takes a thematic approach to explore patterns among the post-Soviet states. It considers why democratic and market reforms have been problematic and patchy, with reference to important features of the region's shared Soviet legacy and political landscape (oligarchs, media control, 'coloured revolutions' and ethnic conflicts). The policies of external actors are analysed. A key theme of the module is to increase the knowledge of student’s away from Russia to provide greater understanding of the other post-Soviet state. The course assesses the conflicts, societies, economies and politics across the post-Soviet region providing students with in-depth knowledge of the sociological, economic and political cleavages in the post-Soviet region.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course aims at forming a coherent knowledge of the recent political developments in the post-Soviet states through the lens of various conceptual and theoretical approaches
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • evaluate arguments, present ideas and defend a theoretical position in relation to the topics covered
  • explain political, economic and social developments in the post-Soviet states using concepts from political science theory
  • show understanding of the political systems and societies of the post-Soviet states and their relationships with Russia, the EU and China
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Politics and society in post-soviet Kazakhstan
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Ukraine
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Belarus
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Armenia
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Azerbaijan
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Georgia
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Moldova
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Kyrgyzstan
  • Politics and society in post-soviet Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
  • Formal and informal institutions in Post-Soviet states
  • Regime dynamic in Post-Soviet states
  • Regime dynamic in Post-Soviet states. Revolutions
  • Reforms in Post-Soviet countries
  • Property rights in Post-Soviet societies
  • Managing elites in autocracies
  • Soviet legacy and democratic values
  • Nation building in Post-Soviet states
  • Building peace in post-conflict societies
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-Class participation
  • non-blocking Regular tests
    Regular tests aim at checking the knowledge about political development of post-soviet countries.
  • non-blocking Reaction paper
    Student may choose one text in the seminar reading list and write a short response paper (1000 words). The paper should contain critical discussion of the argument of a chosen text. Student may refer to other relevant works.
  • non-blocking Exam
    A written examination, where student should answer two open questions from the whole course. The questions are based on the reading list for the classes and materials of lectures.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.25 * Exam + 0.3 * In-Class participation + 0.2 * Reaction paper + 0.25 * Regular tests
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Darden, K., & Grzymala-Busse, A. (2006). The Great Divide: Literacy, Nationalism, and the Communist Collapse. https://doi.org/10.1353/wp.2007.0015
  • Hale, H. E. . (DE-588)136496350, (DE-576)301049882. (2015). Patronal politics : Eurasian regime dynamics in comparative perspective / Henry E. Hale. New York, NY: Cambridge Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.419984909
  • Hale, H. E. (2008). The Foundations of Ethnic Politics : Separatism of States and Nations in Eurasia and the World. Cambridge University Press.
  • Rosenfeld, B. V. (DE-588)1150654570, (DE-627)1010843362, (DE-576)497147580, aut. (2021). State dependency and the limits of middle class support for democracy Bryn Rosenfeld.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Allina-Pisano, J. (2008). The Post-Soviet Potemkin Village : Politics and Property Rights in the Black Earth. Cambridge University Press.
  • Beissinger, M. R. (2013). The Semblance of Democratic Revolution: Coalitions in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. American Political Science Review, 3, 574.
  • Bolkvadze, K. V. (DE-588)1209890712, (DE-627)1697809537, aut. (2020). To reform or to retain? politicians’ incentives to clean up corrupt courts in hybrid regimes Ketevan Bolkvadze.
  • Driscoll, J. R. (DE-588)1046906879, (DE-627)777297523, (DE-576)400219077, aut. (2015). Warlords and coalition politics in post-Soviet states Jesse Driscoll.
  • Krol, G. V. (DE-588)114759550X, (DE-627)1006346368, (DE-576)495886505, aut. (2021). Amending legislatures in authoritarian regimes power sharing in post-Soviet Eurasia Gerrit Krol.
  • Lankina, T. V., & Libman, A. (2019). Soviet legacies of economic development, oligarchic rule, and electoral quality in Eastern Europe’s partial democracies: the case of Ukraine. LSE Research Online Documents on Economics.
  • Linda J. Cook. (2007). Postcommunist Welfare States : Reform Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe. Cornell University Press.
  • Lucan Way. (2015). Pluralism by Default : Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Markus, S. (2015). Property, Predation, and Protection : Piranha Capitalism in Russia and Ukraine. Cambridge University Press.
  • Scott B. Radnitz. (2010). Weapons of the Wealthy : Predatory Regimes and Elite-Led Protests in Central Asia. Cornell University Press.