PSCI 3440 - Schedule

PSCI 3440

RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL

ASIAN POLITICS

 

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES

Schedule of Classes and Assignments

 

Wednesday, September 6: Introduction to the course.

 

Monday, September 11: Marxism-Leninism.

Readings:

  • Shiraev ch 1.

Quiz: none.

Karl Marx

Wednesday, September 13: The USSR.

Reading:

Quiz:

  • Shiraev chs 1 & 2 and Monday's class.

Assignment (due midnight September 13):

  • Send me an email verifying that you have read the syllabus and understood all class policies. Note: failure to do this assignment will result in a 5% reduction of your course grade.

 

Soviet industrial poster art, 1920s and 1930s.

Monday, September 18: Perestroika and the collapse of the USSR: 1985-1991.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 3.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Geography/Map quiz. Refer to the map of "The Countries of the Former Soviet Union" on the Maps page. You need to learn the 15 countries that are colored (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan). I will provide you with the same map (in black and white) for the quiz, but with the country names removed and a number provided instead. You will be asked to name each country - and spell it very close to correctly (two wrong or misplaced letters are acceptable).
  • You must also know the capitals of all 15 countries. A list is here.

 

Wednesday, September 20: The executive: the "power vertical."

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 4, pp 91-105

Quiz:

  • Today's readings and Monday's class.

Boris Yeltsin denouncing the attempted coup by anti-reform figures in the Communist Party, 1991.

Monday, September 25: The executive: how did we get here? The Yelstin years.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 4, pp 91-105.

Quiz:

  • Shiraev chapter 4.

 

Wednesday, September 27: Russia in the world.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 12.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Basic Geographical Information on the Former Soviet Union. Refer to this table. I will provide you with an identical table with only the country names filled in. You will be responsible for the information contained in the other three columns in the table.

Monday, October 2: Crimea, Ukraine, the EU and the US.

Reading:

Quiz:

  • Today's reading, last Monday's and Wednesday's classes.

 

Wednesday, October 4: Forum: roles and issues. Researching your roles.

Reading:

  • None.

Quiz:

  • Monday's class.

 

Monday, October 9: Other political institutions.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapters 5 & 7.

Quiz:

  • Today's readings.

Pro-unification billboard during Crimean referendum, 2014.

Wednesday, October 11: Economic and social policy.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 10.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.

 

Monday, October 16: Catch-up/review.

No reading.

Quiz:

  • Wednesday's class.

 

Wednesday, October 18: Midterm exam.

Kazanorgsintez, one of the largest chemical companies in Russia.

Monday, October 23: The other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapters 1 & 2.

Quiz:

  • Today's readings.

 

Wednesday, October 25: Post-communism and diversity.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 3.
  • Nargis Kassenova, "Central Asia at 25:uncertainties of the quarter-life crisis," Central Asia at 25, 10-11.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.
  • Central Asian leaders. I will provide you with an identical table with the left column left empty. You will be asked to provide the names in that column. Note: you must get the names correct within two letters. Last names are sufficient.

Said Mir Mohammed Alim Khan, the last Emir of Bukhara (in what is now Uzbekistan).

Saturday, October 28: Assignment #1 due at midnight (11:59 pm + one minute).

 

Monday, October 30: Electoral authoritarianism: elections without democracy.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 4.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Wednesday's class.

 

Wednesday, November 1: Sultanism: personalized politics.

Reading:

  • Annette Bohr, "Independent Turkmenistan: from post-communism to sultanism," in Sally Cummings (ed), Oil, Transition and Security in Central Asia. RoutledgeCurzon, 2003; 9-24 [e-reserve].

Study questions:

  • What is Sultanism and how does it differ from other types of non-democratic states?
  • What is a "cult of personality"? What were the features of Niyazov's cult of personality?

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.

 

Saturday, November4: Revised assignment #1 due at midnight (11:59 pm + one minute).

230 foot statue of Sapurmat Niyazov, president (for life) of Turkmenistan (d. 2006)

Monday, November 6: Color revolutions: a contagion with mixed results.

Reading:

  • Charles Fairbanks, "Georgia's Rose Revolution." Journal of Democracy 15:2 (April 2004), 110-124 [e-reserve].

Study questions:

  • Fairbanks observes that Azerbaijan and Georgia were on similar trajectories after the collapse of the Soviet Union until 2003, at which point their experiences were very different. How were they different? How does Fairbanks explain the different outcomes in the two countries?
  • Why was Georgian president Shevernadze unable to get away with fraud in the 2003 parliamentary elections?
  • At the time he wrote the article, Fairbanks was not very optimistic about the chances of the new government. Why?

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Wednesday's class.

Rose Revolution demonstrations in Georgia, 2003

Wednesday, November 8: Oil and gas pipeline politics: connecting supply to markets.

Reading:

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.

 

Monday, November 13: The geopolitics of water.

Reading:

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Wednesday's class.

Irrigated field in Uzbekistan.

Wednesday, November 15: Identity: seeking a post-communist ethos.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 5.
  • Anar Musabaeva, "Kyrgyz nationalism: problems of nation-building and a plan for the future," Central Asia at 25, 35-43.
  • Aidos Sarym, "Nation-building in Kazakhstan," Central Asia at 25, 43-47.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.

 

Monday, November 20: Religion. Gender.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 6.
  • Alima Bissenova, "The return of Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia: evaluating the past, looking to the future," Central Asia at 25, 77-78.
  • Galym Zhussipbek, "Political Islam in the Central Asian context: after 25 years of independence," Central Asia at 25, 90-95.
  • Diana Kudaibergen, "Objects and subjects of gendered temporalities," Central Asia at 25, 47-48.
  • Ainabat Yaylymova, "One step forward, two steps back: 25 years of Turkmen women’s rights," Central Asia at 25, 48-51.

Quiz:

  • Today's readings, Wednesday's class

The new Nur-Astana Moqsue, Astana, Kazakhstan

Wednesday, November 22: Thanksgiving break: no class.

 

Sunday, November 26: Assignment #2 due at midnight (11:59 pm + one minute).

 

Monday, November 27: Clans and informal institutions.

Reading:

Study questions:

  • What are clans and what are the various types?
  • Why was the Soviet leadership unwilling or unable to replace clan politics with more modern forms of governance?
  • Does Starr view the post-Soviet presidents in Central Asia as weak or strong? Why?

Quiz:

  • Today's readings and Monday's class.

The Hissar Gate (ruins), Tajikistan

Wednesday, November 29: Central Asia looking forward.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 8.
  • Sobir Kurbanov, "The economy of Central Asia in retrospective, past, present, and future," Central Asia at 25, 29-31.
  • Kostiantyn Bondarenko, "A long transformation: Central Asian countries on the threshold of change," Central Asia at 25, 107-109.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Wednesday's class.

 

Monday, December 4: Diplomatic Forum I. See Forum page.

 

Wednesday, December 6: Diplomatic Forum II. See Forum page.

 

Final exam: Monday, December 11 from 5:00-7:00.