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International Politics of Russia and Eurasia


Admission requirements

BA degree


The course looks at the developments in domestic politics and foreign policy in Russia and post-Soviet Eurasia from the collapse of the USSR to the present day. It provides a unique opportunity to investigate the collapse of a superpower and its aftermath. Due to its importance and size there will be a particular focus on the Russian Federation, however the course will also examine other post-Soviet republics from Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus or Central Asia through the perspective of comparative politics and international relations. The course will critically examine and analyse the major empirical and theoretic aspects of Russia and Eurasian domestic and foreign policies in comparative regional and chronological perspective – from Ukraine to Uzbekistan.

Course objectives

The objective of the course is to provide students with an insight into the international politics of Russia and Eurasia in the context of the transition from communism to democracy, authoritarianism or hybrid regimes. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Show an understanding of the key theoretical concepts and frameworks essential for the study of contemporary Russian and Eurasian politics and international relations

  • Interpret political change since the break-up of the USSR and explain why countries in Eurasia have followed different political trajectories in spite of their common Soviet past

  • Place Russian and Eurasian foreign policy and international relations in the comparative context of regional and global developments

  • Demonstrate their analytical and critical thinking skills through written and oral presentations



Course load

Total 280 hrs (10EC)
Class 26 hrs
Literature research 100 hrs
Assignments and presentations 50 hrs.
Research paper 104 hrs.

Assessment method

Oral presentations (10%), written assignments including a briefing paper (40%) and end-of-term research paper (50%).
Final paper can be retaken.


Yes, see Blackboard

Reading list

Selected articles, book chapters and policy notes


Via uSis

Contact information

With the teacher, by e-mail: Dr. M.J. Frear