Russia, Eurasia and the Crisis of the Liberal West (998M9)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This module explores the international politics of post-Soviet Russia, in its interaction with the former Soviet space and the wider world. After a period of relative decline in the 1990s, Russia has more recently been described as ‘rising Great Power’ and developments involving Russia have returned to the news – from ‘gas wars’ to the conflict between Russia and Georgia, to the ‘democratic revolutions’ in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan and the repercussions these had for relations between Russia, the EU and NATO.

At the same time, there continue to be dramatic swings in the relationship between Russia and the West. While the last few years have seen talk of a ‘new Cold War’ between Russia and the West, Obama’s re-orientation towards Russia means relations are once again in flux. And Russia has now re-gained the confidence to act beyond its immediate sphere of influence – expressed in its quest for a ‘multipolar world order’, its engagement with China, and the influence it exerts in the Iran issue.

All 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.

This module will investigate the background for and current issues in Russia’s foreign and security policy, in relation to the Near and the Far abroad – and of course, the way in which these spheres are increasingly intertwined. Among other things, we will discuss Russia’s status as Great Power, the ‘colour revolutions’ in Ukraine and Georgia and the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia, relations with NATO and the US, 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.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We’re planning to run this module in the academic year 2021/22. However, there may be changes to this module in response to COVID-19, or due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. It may not be possible to take some module combinations due to timetabling constraints. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.