Putin, Power, Populism: Russia and Eurasia in Global Politics (L2071S)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

Why is the Kremlin meddling in Western elections and supporting right-wing populists across the globe? What is the ‘Putin system’? What drove Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and what are the regional and global consequences of the ongoing war? What role does Russia play in global politics and what does this tell us about the changing nature of state power and international order?

You will explore how Russia’s international agency is rooted 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. You will examine:

  • the role of identities and political imaginaries, oligarchic state networks and ‘virtual democracy’
  • legacies of empire and persistent conflicts in the region
  • the changing geopolitics of oil and gas in Eurasia
  • Russia, the West and local struggles for democracy
  • the evolving Russian-Chinese relationship and the Belt and Road project vs the Eurasian Economic Union
  • Russian ‘hybrid warfare’ and changing forms of power in global politics
  • the Kremlin’s global challenge to liberal norms and LGBTQI rights
  • 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 modernisation in the region, you’ll learn how Russia and Eurasia are shaped by and contribute to global trends. You will critically examine debates around power, identity, and empire. 

Core skills you learn in this module include:

  • researching and critically evaluating complex empirical evidence
  • presenting to an audience
  • writing and arguing at an advanced level in relation to current developments in world politics.


100%: Seminar


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

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 regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: