Political Science | Comparative Politics: Post-Soviet Politics
Y657 | 11792 | Smyth

Professor Regina Smyth

Topic:  Post-Soviet Politics

The collapse of the Soviet Union produced widespread optimism that
the communist authoritarian regimes would give way to stable
democracies across the successor states.  In reality, Russiaís
political development has been uneven and ambiguous.  This course
will examine this outcome through the lens of a number of critical
debates:  the rise of competitive authoritarianism, the role of
political trust, the relationship between presidential regimes and
successful democratic consolidation, the importance of political
legacies, and the sources and impact of ethnic conflict.   Each
section will consist of two weeks.  In the first week, we will read
the theoretic literature and in the second week, the applications of
these theories to the post-Soviet cases.  We will begin and conclude
with two new books that focus on post-Soviet political
developments:  Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-
System Biography by Georgi M. Derluguian and Andrew Wilsonís
Ukraineís Orange Revolution.  Students will be asked to write short
papers on the readings.  Ph.D. candidates will complete a fieldwork
grant application based on the NSF dissertation support guidelines.