PIR-30142 - Modern Russia
Coordinator: Matthew D Wyman Room: N/A Tel: +44 1782 7 33756
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

It was widely assumed after the collapse of the Soviet Union that Russia would adopt the western model of democratic politics and market economics. Yet the reverse has happened. Russia has developed a highly authoritarian political system, where opposition is heavily controlled and there is little possibility of a genuine transfer of power and change of direction for the country. Similarly far from developing a market economy, Russia retains a highly statist economic model, where there is a merger of economic and political power, as well as extraordinary levels of corruption. In the international sphere, Russia under Putin has sought to challenge the pre-existing rules based international order.
This module explores the origins, nature and consequences of contemporary Russian politics. Content will vary from year to year, but is likely to include the following:
* How do you make sure you win elections? How do you try to ensure your favoured candidates win elections in other countries?
* What is political propaganda and how does it work? How has this changed in the social media age? What is post-truth politics?
* How do you make sure political opposition is ineffective?
* What are the consequences of extreme concentration of power?
* How and why has Russia been trying to undermine the international order?

1. Provide an opportunity to examine in detail the political, economic and social development of postcommunist Russia
2. Enhance students' ability to analyse complex and multi-faceted contemporary political issues in the context of uncertainty and shortage of information, and to draw appropriate policy conclusions
3. To develop a range of verbal and written communication skills

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

design and implement a class intended for peers: 1
communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences: 1
describe and evaluate a range of the main characteristics of the contemporary Russian political system: 1,2
describe and explain a range of the post important political ideas and ideologies in modern Russia: 1,2
assess aspects of state-society relations in contemporary Russian politics: 1,2

Study hours

20 hours class contact time; 40 hours preparation for seminars, 20 hours preparation of student-led seminar; 70 hours preparation of research report

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Seminar weighted 20%
Student-led seminar on assigned topic, in groups of 2-3, minimum one hour of prepared activity
Students in groups of 2-3 will lead an individual seminar session, organise activities and discussion on the set reading

2: Essay weighted 80%
Essay on aspect of contemporary post-Soviet politics
2000 word research paper on an aspect of contemporary post-Soviet politics