University of Sussex Business School

Putin, Power, Populism (L2071S)

Putin, Power, Populism: Russia and Eurasia in Global Politics

Module L2071S

Module details for 2019/20.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

Why is the Kremlin meddling in Western elections and supporting right-wing populists across the globe? What is the ‘Putin system’? What role does Russia now play in global politics and what does this tell us about the changing nature of state power? What is ‘Eurasia’ and how does this region matter in world politics? This module will explore how Russia’s international agency is rooted in in developments in the Eurasian region since the end of the Cold War – and what this tells us about the current crisis of the liberal West. Among other things, we will discuss the role of identities and political imaginaries, oligarchic state networks and ‘virtual democracy’; legacies of empire and ‘frozen conflicts’; the geopolitics of oil and gas in Eurasia; Russia, the West and local struggles for democracy; the evolving Russian-Chinese relationship and One Road One Belt vs the Eurasian Economic Union; Russian cyber operations and changing forms of power in global politics; the Kremlin’s challenge to liberal norms and LBTQI rights; and the role of Russia in the rise of the far right and populism in Europe and the US. Paying attention to the legacies of non-Western empires and Soviet modernization in the region, we’ll learn how Russia and Eurasia are shaped by and contribute to global trends and will critically examine IR debates around power, identity and empire.

Module learning outcomes

Evaluate theoretical and conceptual debates with reference to the global role of Russia and work with suitable concepts in arguments on the place of the region in global politics

Have formed a broad understanding of the historical background and recent developments of Russia’s post-Cold War transformation as an international actor –i.e. an understanding of the contexts, pressures and constraints (international and domestic) which Russian foreign policy makers have to deal with.

Have formed an intellectual sensibility to historical, political and cultural specificities of Russia and the region.

Have formed abroad understanding of how Russian actions and regional developments reflect and affect globaldynamics

Essay (3500 words)Semester 2 Assessment Week 1 Mon 16:0070.00%
Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT2 Week 9 100.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Spring SemesterSeminar3 hours11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Earl Gammon

Assess convenor

Dr Stefanie Ortmann


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