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The course presents the life and deeds of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union from 1924 till 1953. It analyses the reasons for his actions and their results, as well as the causes of his popularity in Russia today. It offers an analysis of the phenomenon of Stalinism and of its significance for Russia and beyond.
In the late 1920s – early 1930s Stalin directed the massive and rapid industrialisation of the country and the forced collectivisation of its agriculture. The industrialisation was based on forced labour, and collectivisation on repression, but both helped to create the material base for the Soviet defence industry. In the late 1930s Stalin unleashed mass terror against the Soviet people, in which millions perished. In his view this helped to rid the country of any potential internal enemies on the eve of the coming war. The USSR, together with its allies, won the Second World War, but at the cost of dozens of millions of lives. Stalin was instrumental in creating the post-war order. The system which he created in the 1930s shaped the USSR as it was during his lifetime and for decades after his death. It also influenced the lives of millions of people beyond the Soviet borders. The course will enable those who take it to develop an informed understanding of the Stalin era and of the phenomenon of Stalinism.

This course will help you to navigate ambiguity in definitions of "Smart City". You can review successful cases and practices of different approaches to transformation management, determine the potential of your city in the digital transformation, as well as find useful practical advices on search for funding of various digital projects in your city. In addition, lecturers introduce you with formation of Smart City structure and infrastructure from the officials’ point of view.

If you are already an expert in the field of Smart Cities, the course will give you the opportunity to assess your strengths and to improve knowledge in this field. You will gain additional skills in managing digital transformation programs with real examples, as well as you will be acquainted with communication methods and marketing of government projects.

The course analyzes challenges faced by transition and emerging-market economies, i.e., those middle- and low-income countries, which have conducted market-oriented economic reforms and become integrated into the global economy since 1990s.

It starts from a brief history of communist economic system based on central planning in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe, its evolution and collapse at the end of 1980s/ early 1990s and subsequent transition to a market system in 1990s and 2000s. Then it analyzes experience of market reforms in China, India, other Asian countries, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America at the same period. Finally, it discusses the problems of contemporary global economy and global and regional economic governance with the special focus given to emerging-market economies and their role. By the end of the course you will be able to analyse emerging-market economies and economies in transition, taking into account their crucial characteristics and historical experience. Participation in the course does not require any preconditions, however, basic economic knowledge would be an advantage. In order to pass successfully this course you must score not less than 80% for each of six after module quizzes and complete the peer-assessed essay at the end of the course.

In the course “Understanding Russians: Contexts of Intercultural Communications": we will:

1) Build skills in the analysis of the intercultural communication process using Russian-Western communication as an example. 2) Apply the knowledge of interrelations between different contexts of communication (cultural, institutional, professional, social, interpersonal, etc.) to the cultural history and national psychology of Russians. The purpose of the course is to provide the students with a broad overview of the basic principles governing the past, the present and the future interactions between Russia and the West, with a focus on the culture and national psychology of Russians and Western Europeans. For example, we will look at the cases when basic cultural values of Russians show up through the linguistic choices shaping language production which is consequently misattributed by Western partners. No matter what the language of intercultural communication is – Russian, or English – the meaning of many linguistic expressions may be reconstructed wrongly by the representatives of another culture. Some of the basic questions we will tackle are: • What are the concepts of culture that have the strongest influence on communication? • What are Russian basic cultural values and how they shape modern Russian consciousness? • What are the specific communication patterns of modern Russians, including those of public and electronic discourse? • What is important to know about communication with Russians in organizational contexts? Importantly, this course is NOT just a list of practical instructions of dos and don’ts of dealing with Russians. The course contains a substantial academic component introducing the key notions and concepts of the Theory of Communication, which will be extensively introduced throughout the first few modules of the course. These theoretical grounds will be further on used as a tool for analyzing the intercultural communications with Russians.

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will offer the participants an introduction into contemporary geopolitics, starting from the origins of classical geopolitics and continuing the discussion with the deep analysis of the examined country-cases, including the US, Russia, and China. Combined with small tests, based on the video’s and recommended readings, the participants will be encouraged to dive into the complex theories and phenomena and get familiar with the concepts that are still very relevant in the contemporary world.