Political Science | Democracy Russian-Style
Y396 | 3731 | Hale

With the world’s second-largest nuclear arsenal and a land-mass
covering 11 time zones, Russia is perhaps the single most important
country to undergo a democratic transition in recent times.  But
despite its promising start, the country soon found itself mired in
corruption, violence, and economic collapse.  President Vladimir
Putin has sought to restore order, but democratic freedoms are
increasingly lost in the process.  Students in this course will learn
to become sophisticated readers of Russian politics, critically
analyzing some of the most important and newest journalistic,
textbook, autobiographical, and political science accounts of
Russia’s difficulties with democracy.  Students will also be given an
opportunity to work directly with mass opinion poll results on Russia
and will receive instruction in how to arrive at their own original
conclusions.  One central goal of this class is to develop students’
writing skills, which will involve composing papers on Russia’s 2004
presidential elections (which will take place during the course of
the semester) and other topics.