International relations

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

Module code: L2071S
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

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?

You 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.

You will examine:

  • 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 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.

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