Autumn Semester 2018-19


Module Guide


Week 8 - LH 228

Week 9 & 15 - LH 317

Week 10-11 - LH 404









800px-Republics_of_the_USSR svg.jpg
The module is taught over 6 weeks - Thursday 9 - 11am, Learning Hub 404


It starts 22nd November and carries over into January 2019


Teaching is through a combination of seminars and tutorials. Seminar activities will include discussions of specified reading, themes and topics. 


You should allow around two to three hours per week for self-directed study, in addition to the two hours per week in class for this module.  In order to become an efficient researcher, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the services and facilities offered by the library, especially the availability of electronic and on-line sources as well as the short loan section.



The aim of the module is to acquaint students with the background history and the current state of international relations in post-Soviet regions, focusing specifically on the nexus of Russia, Eastern Europe and the emergent place of Russia in global politics.






 On completion of the Module students will be able to:


Knowledge and Understanding


a)         Understand with confidence the rationale for treating the post-Soviet space as a geo-political entity for the purposes of analysis.


b)         Show critical awareness of the significance of the international relations of the post-Soviet Union for understanding the changing global balance of power.


Subject Specific Skills


c)         Critically discuss selected themes relating to international relations and security in the post-Soviet Union.


d)         Demonstrate a substantive knowledge of the historical development of one or more countries of the post-Soviet space in its (their) regional context, during the period after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.


Key Skills


e)         Conduct a sustained and cogent argument in appropriate written format.


f)         Marshal an appropriate range of sources, referenced according to the accepted academic conventions.


g)         Show evidence of advanced skill in oral communication.



Module Programme



Week 1 (22/11/18)         From Stalin to Putin (DW)


Week 2 (29/11/16)         From Stalin to Putin pt 2 (DW)


Week 3 (6/12/18)          The Soviet Empire: to the Baltics (GMcB)

Week 4 (
13/12/18)         Russia looks at the new Europe (GMcB)


Week 5 (10/1/19)          Russia looks at the new US (DW)


Week 6 (17/1/19)          Russia and China (DW)


Week 7 (24/1/19)          The Fate of the Russian Federation (GMcB/DW)




Assessment:  There is ONE assessment item for this module: 1 x 2500 word essay, titles below


Assessment Item


Referral / Deferral  deadline

2500-word Essay

1st March 2019

1st May, 2019



Essay Guidelines


For the essays, students will be expected to conduct in-depth research, to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of central concepts and perspectives, and to advance critical analysis in a rigorous, articulate and creative manner. It is expected further that students will engage with a variety information sources and will evidence appropriate skills of referencing.



Essay Questions:


1.  Explain why the Soviet Union collapsed so rapidly in the period 1990-91.
2.  Who is mostly to blame for the failure of the Russian-American rapproachment of 1990s?
3.  How has the Russian state continued to exert influence over the former constituent republics of the Soviet Union?
4.  Explain President Putin's policy towards China after 2001.
5.  Was the Ukrainian crisis inevitable?
6. What effects did the collapse of the Soviet Union have on the Baltic states?
7. Choosing either Romania or Bulgaria (formerly communist Balkan states), evaluate the success of their integration into European democratic political norms.
8. To what extent is Putin's Russia wary of the economic and political integration of the EU?
9. Is Putin aspiring to put the Soviet Union back together again?






Marking Procedures for Written Work

All written work is moderated internally and may later be submitted to an external examiner. We endeavour to have written assignments turned around and returned to you within three working weeks from the deadline. Each year, samples of coursework are sent to an external examiner to ensure that our marking standards are comparable to those of other universities.  Please note that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the exam board at the end of the academic year. Examination scripts are double-marked and, as with coursework, a sample of scripts is sent to the external examiners for moderation