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Corruption in Russia and Eurasia


Admission requirements

Open to all students from the MA programme Russian and Eurasian Studies. Students from other MA programmes require a Russian language reading level of B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, see CEFR.


At the twilight of the Soviet Union its successor states in Central Eurasia were expected to transition to democracy and free market economy. While partial reforms took place in some, they were stalled or reversed in others. What explains this variation? What can we learn from this experience for academic and practical purposes? These are the key questions guiding this course. We will critically explore the causes and consequences of democratization, autocratization, and development of particular economies, paying attention to various explanations that vary from historical legacies to the resource curse to the role of ideas.

Course objectives

The key objective of this course is to broaden our knowledge of major theories and concepts on the political economy of transition in post-Soviet Central Eurasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan).
A successful completion of this course will enable you to:

  • understand and discuss key issues in the political economy of transition in the non-Baltic former Soviet Union;

  • critically apply existing theories and concepts to evaluate specific country experiences;

  • strengthen your analytical writing skills through several writing assignments.


The timetable is available on the Timetable.

Method of Instruction


Course load

Total 280 hrs (10EC)
Class 26 hrs
Reading 100 hrs
Written assignments 40 hrs
Research paper 114 hrs.

Assessment method


Contribution to class discussions and exercises (15%)
Critical briefs (25%)
Group project (20%)
Final research paper (40%)
Students pass the course if their weighted average is 5.50 or higher and the grade for the research paper is at least 5.50.


Students who fail the final research paper (5,5 or lower), will have to resubmit an improved version and this will count as a resit.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

Not applicable.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. A.K.O. Ahmadov

Coordinator of Studies: mw. drs. T. Bouma

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Not applicable