Fall/Winter Timetable

POL2337H1F L0101

Undergraduate Course Code: POL437H1F L0101

Government, Law and Politics in Russia


This seminar will explore government, law and politics in Russia, with special attention to the reform of law and courts in the post-Soviet period. This subject will be examined in historical and comparative perspectives and will be used to cast light on such larger questions as the nature of Soviet and Russian government, the role of informal institutions, and the politics of post-communist transition. More concretely, the seminar will consider the place of law in the Soviet system; judicial reform, constitutionalism, and legal regulation of the economy in post Soviet Russia; Vladimir Putin’s efforts to strengthen law and the courts; cultural obstacles to legal order, and patterns of legal transition in other post-communist countries. Related issues include the state of human rights in Russia; the impact of the European Court of Human Rights; organized crime; clientelism, patrimonialism, and corruption; and the role of the media in shaping legal culture.


Articles and chapters in Reader and Electronic Resources.

Format and Requirements

This will be a reading and discussion seminar. All students will be expected to prepare a set of required readings each week. In addition, students will deliver brief oral reports on both required and supplementary readings. A paper (12-15 pp. for undergraduates, 15-20 pp. for graduates) will be due at the end of term. One page proposals for paper topics must be approved by November 10. The grade will be one third for class participation and two thirds for the paper