Russia and the Former Soviet Union in Global Politics (L2071S)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module explores the international politics of post-Soviet Russia and the former Soviet space. After a period of relative decline in the 1990s, Russia has more recently been described as 'rising Great Power' and developments in the CIS have returned to the news - from 'gas wars' to the conflict between Russia and Georgia, from the 'democratic revolutions' in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan to the apparent erosion of democracy in Russia and talk of a "new Cold War" between Russia and the West.

These are developments with implications for Western Europe and beyond, touching on traditional and new security issues alike, and shedding light on the implications of Western democracy promotion and the role of norms and identity in contemporary global politics.

The module will investigate the background for and current development of international relations in the region - in particular Russia's status as great power, the 'colour revolutions' in Ukraine and Georgia and the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia, NATO and the US in the former Soviet space, the question of Europe's 'energy security' and its relations with Russia, and what has been called the 'new Great Game' between Russia, China and the US in Central Asia. In doing this, it will introduce relevant theoretical concepts related to foreign policy analysis and constructivist explanations of the role of norms and identity in the international politics of Russia and the FSU.


100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 33 hours of contact time and 267 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.