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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2004

GOV 336M • Governments and Politics of Russia

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35060 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
BUR 108

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the history of political development in Russia from 1917 to the present. The course will be divided into two parts: 1) an overview of the Soviet period, which ended with the introduction of radical reform under Mikhail Gorbachev and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union itself; and 2) a discussion of the twin challenges of democratization and radical market reform facing the new post-Soviet Russian state. As the 21st century begins, Russia appears to be on a very precarious course away from communism but toward an uncertain future. This course will seek to shed light on one of the most dramatic and important political, economic, and social transformations in recent history.

Grading Policy

Tentative The written requirements of the course will consist of two mid-term exams and one take-home paper. There will be no final exam. Both tests will include a take-home essay and a set of multiple choice questions. The multiple choice section of the exam will be taken in class on the day that the take-home essay is due. The take-home paper will be an examination of a major question facing postcommunist Russia based on readings assigned in class and a recommended book. Please note the due date of all papers and tests. Make-up exams will be granted only for medical emergencies with a doctor's note. Late assignments will be severely penalized. Those unable to meet the requirements of the class on the dates set should not take the course. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and will be dealt with according to University rules. All written work is to be done individually. Grades will be assigned as follows (Tentative): First Midterm 30% Second Midterm 30% Take-home paper 30% Participation (based on attendance) 10%


Tentative list: Z. Barany and R. Moser (eds.), Russian Politics: Challenges of Democratization. M. McFaul, Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin. R. Moser, Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Representation in Russia. A course packet containing the readings marked by an asterisk (*) will be available at Paradigm Copies.


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