Political Science | Post-Soviet Politics
Y657 | 3751 | Hale


Topic:  POST-SOVIET POLITICS: CROSSROADS OF AREA STUDIES AND
POLITICAL SCIENCE:

What does political science have to offer the understanding of post-
Soviet politics?  What does specialized knowledge of Eurasia have to
offer political science?  This course will help students explore
these issues through a critical examination of some of the most
important works by political scientists on politics in the countries
of the former USSR.  While a wide variety of approaches will be
considered, old and new, special attention will be given to a series
of recent pathbreaking works that combine a deep knowledge of local
language, history, and culture with a theoretical orientation,
sophisticated methodology, and an explicitly comparative perspective.
The course will focus on how students can learn how both to write and
to read critically book-length manuscripts (i.e. a dissertation) as
well as journal-length papers.  Works examined will center around the
themes of democracy (or the lack of it), the politics of economic
transition, and center-periphery relations (including ethnic and
federal politics). Before the first meeting of the class, students
are required to read pp.3-30 in Przeworski and Teuneís The Logic of
Comparative Social Inquiry (NY: Wiley, 1970) and pp.3-30 in Geertzís
The Interpretation of Cultures (NY: Basic Books, 1973), which are on
reserve and which students will be expected to discuss during the
first class meeting.