This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.
This course describes and analyses the political and social history of Russia and Eurasia from the turn of the 20th century to today. It evaluates the final years of Imperial Russian rule, the foundation and establishment of the Soviet Union, and the impact of socialist society on the lands of USSR. Finally, the course gives students an understanding of the dynamics of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and the long-term impact this political disintegration has had on the countries of the former USSR. Throughout the course, linkages will be drawn between geographies and times, showing the connections between the imperial, soviet, and modern periods, as well as between European cities, like Kiev or St. Petersburg, and Central Asia’s deserts and cotton fields. Students are expected to engage with both the historical overview provided in the lectures and readings, as well as the discussions and presentations they will present in tutorials, where they will also have the opportunity to work with an edited collection of primary documents. By the end of the course, students should have gained an understanding of the turbulent historical dynamics underpinning modern Russian and Eurasian politics and society.
The student has:
Acquired knowledge and understanding of history, its processes, structure, actors, factors, and events, and has familiarised him- / herself with the academic understanding of history and the history specific to the chosen area, with an emphasis on the last two centuries. Furthermore, the student has acquired a basic understanding of the theories used in the field of History and those with specific relevance to the Area History. Finally the student has acquired basic research skills, which he/she has put into practice for the first time in the shape of a small individual research project.
Acquired knowledge and understanding of the concepts and conceptual structures relevant for the study of history from an area perspective, i.e. local, national, regional but also transnational and from a comparative, international, and global perspective.
A basic understanding of the methodologies used in the field of History. Both the methods and theories will be explained and activated through exercises based on the handbook common to all Area History courses and used for the overall History track in the programme. Robert Williams, The Historian's Toolbox; A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History will be the common frame of reference. The student will make a first attempt to put into practice one relevant method in an individual research project.
Knowledge of the main facts, actors and developments in the history of the Soviet Union, as well of the debates on the key-concepts and theories in the historiography on this subject.
Insights in the multi-layered quality of the Soviet experience, in the interactions between state and society and in the complex dynamics of Russia’s ongoing modernization process.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every two weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance. Being absent at more than two of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (40% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first two sessions. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.
Written examination with short open questions.
Written examination with short open questions.
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Tutorial grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.
The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.
This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final Exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 60% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final Exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2022 – 2023.
Exam review and feedback
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 organised.
To be announced.
- Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA International Studies
All other information.