SOVIET AND RUSSIAN POLITICS: 1985-PRESENT
Jonathan A. Becker
Fall, 1995
Department of Political Science
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY


Assessment:
The course will be divided into four areas:

1) Mid-term examination, in class, [20%]
2) Final examination, [25%]
3) Seminar presentation/paper [20%]
4) Seminar participation [10%]
5) Research paper 8-10 pages [25%1

Purpose:

The purpose of this course is to explore the collapse of the Soviet system of government and the emergence of Russia in the wake of that collapse. The course will begin by exploring the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev and by examining where his political programs differed from those of his predecessors. Next, we will discuss why his programs ultimately failed and why the Soviet Union collapsed. We will then explore the emergence of Russia after the Soviet collapse, including the internal political dynamics, the issue of ethnic minorities within Russia and Russians in the 'near abroad', social dynamics of the transition to a market economy and Russia's relations with her neighbors.

The rapidity of change will makes it important that all of you keep up to date with events in Russia. Everyone is expected to follow current events through newspapers, television and radios. You should also read the weekly issues of the Open Media Research Institute's daily reports (available on e-mail) and its weekly publication Transition.

Week One.

Introduction, course overview.
Dynamics and Tensions in Soviet Politics and Society.

Readings:
Lewin, The Gorbachev Phenomenon
Housholner, Politics Before Gorbachev: De Stalinization and the Roots of Reforms
Shlapentokh, "Two Levels of Public Opinion."
The Soviet System in Crisis
Cerf, Small Fires

Week Two.
Gorbachev Reforms.

Gorbachev, Perestroika
Lane, Soviet Society Under Perestroika
Hough "Understanding Gorbachev's: The Importance of Politics."
Korotich, "Chronicling the Chaos."
Remington, "Socialist Pluralism of Opinion."
Andreeva, "I Cannot Forgo my Principles"

Week Three.
Reforms, National Tensions and the Collapse of the Soviet State.

Robinson, Gorbachev and Place of Party in Soviet Reform
Brudny, Herald of Opposition to Perestroika
Bonnel et al, Russia at the Barricades
Lapidus, "Gorbachev and the National Question."
Brown, The Gorbachev Factor

Week Four.
The Collapse of the Soviet State, Assessing Gorbachev and the Emergence of Russia.

Brown, The Gorbachev Factor
Simes, "Russia Reborn."
Yeltsin, Against the Grain

Week Five.

Politics in Transition: The President and Parliament.

Brudny, "Ruslan Khasbulatov, Aleksandr Rutskoi and Intra-elite Conflict in Post-Communist Russia."
Rutskoi, "People of Russia Make Your Choice."
White, The Politics of Transition
Remmington, Parliaments in Transition

Week Six.

Elections.

McFaul and Markov, Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy: Parties, Personalities and Programs
Hahn, "Opposition Politics in Russia."
Brudny, "Dynamics of Democratic Russia."

Week Seven.
Politics of Federalism.

Federalism Treaty
Shaw, "Geographic and Historical Observation on the Future of Federal Russia."
Sheehy, "Russia's Republics: A Threat to its Territorial Integrity?"

Week Eight.
Relations with Former Soviet States and the Near Abroad.

Melvin, Forging the New Russian Nation: Russian Foreign policy and Russian Speaking Communities of the Former USSR
Harris, "The New Russian Minorities, A Statistical Overview."

Week Nine.
Relations in the Near Abroad and the New Society.

Dunlop, "Will Russians Return from the Near Abroad?"
TBA

Week Ten.
TBA



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: August, 1996

Bec_SovRussP.F95PS.v2

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