Politics And Society In Contemporary Russia And The Fsu POLITIC4016

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course analyses the processes of political, economic and social transformations taking place since the end of the Soviet Union in Russia and former Soviet states. The course explores why these have resulted in differing forms of governance across the FSU and considers the particular challenges to theories and practices of transition and democratisation these experiences pose.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Honours entry, as set out in the Undergraduate Course Catalogue

Excluded Courses



Case study critically evaluating an aspect of transformation in country of choice 25% (1000 words) 

Research project 75% (3000 words)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

Almost twenty years since the collapse of communist rule in Eastern Europe, analysis and evaluation of the politics of postsocialism offers insights into the challenges of contemporary governance, both in the region and internationally. Focusing on the continuing and often dramatic transformations in Russia and states of the former Soviet Union (FSU), this course analyses how these processes impact on state-society relations and forms of governance. The first part of the course outlines the processes of political and social transformation resulting from the collapse of communism and the breakdown of the Soviet Union. The differing forms of governance to have emerged are then analysed in context in the second part of the course through contemporary case studies. Cases will address the themes of politics, emotion and everyday activism; challenges of ethnicity, religion and nationalism; justice and human rights and the gendered nature of transformations. The course concludes by questioning what insights an analysis of postsocialist forms of governance and society in Russia and the FSU generates for understandings of democratic governance within the region and in the global context.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ assess the main similarities and differences between communist and post socialist forms of governance in Russia and FSU

■ critically apply relevant theoretical frameworks to empirical case study examples within contemporary Russia and FSU

■ evaluate the impact of postsocialist transformations on governance and state society relations in contemporary Russia and FSU

■ critically assess the relevance of the politics of postsocialism within the global context.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits