Political Science | Russian Politics
Y332 | 3371 | Hale


With over 20,000 nuclear warheads, territory spanning 1/7 of the globe's
land mass, and 150 million people, Russia is surely one of the states in
which developments could most directly affect the lives and liberties of
Americans and citizens of other countries.  In this course, students will
examine the driving forces of Russian politics and weigh competing
theoretical "lenses" that can be used to interpret Russian political
behavior.  What drove the USSR to democratize and collapse and why did the
community of experts fail so completely to predict it?  Why has the Russian
economy been so troubled?  Did Vladimir Putin become president in 2000 by
means of fraud, or does Russia have a real democracy?  What are the sources
of the persistent weakness of the Russian state?  These and other issues
will be explored through a combination of lectures, readings and in-class
exercises.