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Russian Studies

Russia in the Changing World (4 ECTS credits, 32 academic hours, HSE Moscow)
Dates: June, 24 - July, 5


This course has been designed especially for international students majoring in international relations, political science, and global economy. In contrast to international relations courses offered at other Russian universities, this course focuses on Russia’s vision of the international environment to the west and east and is built around specific issues of a political and economic nature. Many of the topics included in the course lend themselves to discussion and debate, so different points of view on various topics are offered as much as possible in the recommended literature. The course does not have any specific prerequisites, although some knowledge of Soviet History, International Relations, and Geography of Eurasia will be helpful.

Russian Space and Russian State (2 ECTS credits, 16 academic hours, HSE Moscow)
Dates: July 8 - 13

The subject matter of the course is Russian space. The course deals with its structure, topology, history, modes of appropriation and governance. It problematizes the idea of space as a key to understanding politics and governance of Russia, as well as the national economy, society and culture.

The course begins with exploring the phenomenology of Russian space: its structure, topology and specific features, including notions of “enormity”. It then proceeds to explore Russian space in its relation to state power. It examines the ways in which geography shaped Russian history and politics. The enormous space has largely determined the format of Russian statehood; indeed, governance in Russia is largely about the relationship between space and the state. The space-state relationship is reified on various levels: economy, politics, and administration, security and social mobility, nationalism, and imperialism, culture and language, habits and ways. The course looks into each of these levels, discovering specific ways of interaction between the space and the state.
The course includes city workshops with the analysis of art and architectural objects (Red Square, Kitai Gorod, VDNKh, subway and the Tretyakov Gallery). Additionally, the course may include film showings and visits to exhibitions and museums.

Russia and Global Food Security (2 ECTS credits, 16 academic hours, HSE Moscow)
Dates: June, 20 - 29

This course covers the economic dimensions of food production, consumption, and trade. The main aim of the course is to form a clear understanding of the current state of the global food market and the main structural shifts that have taken place in it. It is also intended to give students an idea of ways to overcome the critical situation in the agricultural sector in terms of threats to global food security. This course focuses on the nature and degree of the impact that the global food problem has on the economic policy of each country, as well as on the world economy as a whole. A key idea emphasized in this course is that a country’s ability to provide a sufficient amount of food for its people and still have a surplus of products to export is one of the most powerful levers of economic and political influence.

Explaining contemporary Russian politics: Institutions and beyond  (2 ECTS credits, 16 academic hours, HSE Moscow)
Dates: July, 29 - August, 3

Boris Makarenko

Professor: Faculty of Social Sciences / School of Political Science

The course is intended to introduce the students to contemporary Russian politics. It is designed as an overview of principal political institutions of the Russian state. These institutions are analyzed through the lens of comparative political science using neoinstitutional methodological approach, looking not only at the formal framework but also on the actual performance of actors and institutions, which evolved in Russia since early 1990s. The course covers not only state institutions but looks at the “agents of change” such as private enterprise, civil society, political culture, collective action, etc.

The course aims at strengthening students’ knowledge of contemporary Russia, developing skills to interpret and analyze political events, intellectual and historical outlook, to maintain professional and public discussion.
The course is offered by Dr. Boris Makarenko, professor of HSE and Chairman of the Board of the Center for Political Technologies, a leading Moscow-based independent think-tank.

The main thematic blocs of the course include:
·        Institutions building during transition to modernity: repairing the ship at sea?
·        The asymmetric powers: checks and balances in the system of institutions.
·        The agents of change: developmental state, private enterprise and civil society in the making of modern Russia.
·        Political culture of limited pluralism: societies, parties, elections and beyond.

* all dates TBC