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Russian Politics & International Relations


Admission requirements

BA degree


In this course we will critically examine and analyze major empirical and theoretical aspects of Russia’s evolving domestic and foreign policies. These include the pattern of political transformation during the 1990s and 2000s, the working of Russia’s major political institutions, as well as issues of (political) legitimacy and identity. We will also discuss the link between domestic and foreign policies and the various concepts and theories developed to capture the nature of these policies and Russia’s position in global politics.

Course objectives

On the basis of carefully selected issues, students develop a better understanding and a deeper knowledge of Russia’s institutional political structure and its domestic and international policies, in a comparative regional (Eurasia) and chronological (post- and late-communism) perspective: key events, institutions, procedures, personalities and policies. Knowledge of the major theoretical approaches developed to comprehend the specific nature of Russian politics is an important aspect of the course. Insight into the dynamics of political change in the Russian Federation is another key objective. Students are expected to independently and critically research and compare major aspects of Russian domestic and foreign politics. They will be required to study and report weekly readings, to write and present a policy paper, and to complete an end-term research paper on a well-defined aspect of contemporary Russian and Eurasian politics.


First bloc: lectures, required readings, designing and presenting policy paper(s).
Second bloc: lectures, required readings, presenting end-term papers.

Assessment method

Weekly readings (30%)
Policy paper (20%)
End-term paper (50%)


Yes, see Blackboard

Reading list

Core text books and other readings will be announced on Blackboard before the course begins.


Via uSis

Contact information

With the study co-ordinator, by e-mail: Mevr. drs. T. Bouma