Fall/Winter Timetable

POL354H1F L0101

Politics and Society in Russia


It is already clear that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point, not only in the post-Cold War international order, but also in the development of the Russian polity and economy. How did we get here? How did Vladimir Putin rise to power, and how has his regime changed over the past two decades? We will take a historical approach to these questions, examining the evolution of Russian politics since the collapse of the Soviet Union. After acquiring a basic knowledge of Russia’s political development since Gorbachev, students will explore a variety of themes in contemporary politics, including public opinion, the media, elites and parties, civil society and interest groups, state building, federalism, the military and security services, Russia-China relations, and the linkages between domestic politics and Russia’s behavior on the international stage. This last theme brings us full circle, back to Putin’s war in Ukraine and its near-future implications. Here, we will consider not only the prospects for Russia’s democratization but also how Russia might adapt to the other challenges it will face in coming decades—especially climate change.


Marshall T. Poe, The Russian Moment in World History; Richard Sakwa, Henry E. Hale, and Stephen White (eds.), Developments in Russian Politics 9; others TBA.

Format and Requirements

One two-hour lecture per week. Course requirements TBA.


1.0 credit in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA courses