PSCI 3440 - Schedule

PSCI 3440

RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL

ASIAN POLITICS

 

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES

Schedule of Classes and Assignments

 

Monday, January 7: Introduction to the course.

 

Wednesday, January 9: Marxism-Leninism I. Marx and

the critique of capitalism. Lenin's departure from Marx.

Readings: none.

 

Monday, January 14: Marxism-Leninism II. Stalin and the

construction of Soviet communism.

Reading:

  • Shiraev ch 2.

Study questions:

  • What are the various stages that Russia has gone through since it earliest antecedents? How have they differed from one another?

Karl Marx

Wednesday, January 16: The USSR from Stalin's death (1953) through perestroika (1985-1991).

Reading:

  • Shiraev ch 3.

Study questions:

  • What was perestroika and glasnost?
  • Why did Gorbachev think they would save the Soviet Union?
  • What went wrong?

Quiz:

Soviet industrial poster art, 1920s and 1930s.

Monday, January 21: MLK Day.

 

Wednesday, January 23: The Yeltsin years (1992-1999). The wrenching transition; the westward orientation; political, social and economic decay.

Reading:

  • John Dunlop, "Sifting Through the Rubble of the Yeltsin Years" <e-reserve>.

Study questions:

  • What is the "rubble" of the Yeltsin years?
  • What are the legacies of his presidency, both positive and negative?

Quiz:

  • 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.

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

Monday, January 28: Putinism I (2000-present). The "power vertical." Capitalism.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 4.

Study questions:

  • Why did Putin and his (many) supporters believe that the restoration of the "power vertical" was necessary?
  • What measures did he take to restore it?

Quiz:

  • Today's reading, Dunlop (from last week) and Leaders of the Soviet Union and Post-Communist Russia. Refer to this table. I will provide you with an identical blank table. Note: you must get the names correct within two letters. Last names are sufficient.

 

Wednesday, January 30: Putinism II (2000-present).

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 10.

Study questions:

  • How capitalist is Russia's post-communist economy?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the economy?

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, February 4: Economy and society.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 11.

Study questions:

  • Russia largely dismantled the Soviet social contract after the collapse of the Soviet Union. What kind of social policies replaced it?

Quiz:

  • Shiraev chapters 10 and 11 and Wednesday's class.

 

Wednesday, Feruary 6: Exam I (first hour). Frozen conflicts I.

Exam study guide.

Reading: none.

 

Monday, February 11: Frozen conflicts II.

Reading:

Listen:

Look:

  • The Euractiv article has maps, but here are more detailed ones of each of the frozen conflicts:
  • Ukraine, Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk
  • Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia
  • Moldova and Transdniester
  • Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nogorna-Karabakh

Quiz:

  • Today's readings and NPR story.

Pro-unification billboard during Crimean referendum, 2014.

Wednesday, February 13: Forum: roles and issues. Researching your roles.

Reading:

  • Forum instructions including roles.

Quiz:

  • Monday's class.

 

Monday, February 18: Russia and the world.

Reading:

  • Shiraev chapter 12.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading.

 

Wednesday, February 20: Post-communist diversity.

Reading:

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.

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

Monday, February 25: Color revolutions: a contagion with mixed results.

Reading:

  • Alexander Cooley, "These colors may run." From After the Color Revolution, 63-69 <e-reserve>.
  • Georgi Derluguian, "The color revolutions betrayed." From After the Color Revolution, 79-84 <e-reserve>.

Quiz:

  • Today's readings and Wednesday's class.

Rose Revolution demonstrations in Georgia, 2003

Wednesday, February 27: Sultanism: personalized politics.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 3.
  • 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 readings and Central Asian leaders. Refer to this table. 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.

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

Monday, March 11: Electoral authoritarianism: elections without democracy.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 4.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading.

 

Wednesday, March 13: In betwixt and between: Russia, China, the US and Central Asia.

Reading:

  • David Denoon, "The Strategic Significance of Central Asia." Note that this article is a short excerpt from the author's book; hence, the occasional reference to the "volume." You may ignore that and read for the substance.

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.

2015 presidential election results in Belarus. Note how uncompetitive they were.

Monday, March 18: Exam II (first hour). Oil and gas pipeline politics: connecting supply to markets.

Exam study guide.

Reading: none.

 

Wednesday, March 20: The geopolitics of water.

Reading:

Quiz:

  • Today's reading and Monday's class.

Irrigated field in Uzbekistan.

Saturday, March 23: Revised assignment #1 due at midnight (11:59 pm + one minute).

 

Monday, March 25: Identity: seeking a post-communist ethos.

Reading:

  • 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 Wednesday's class.

The logo for Kazakhstan's modernization of society project called "Spiritual Renewal"

Wednesday, March 27: Religion. Gender.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 5.
  • 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 reading and Monday's class.

 

Monday, April 1: 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, Wednesday's class

The new Nur-Astana Moqsue, Astana, Kazakhstan

Wednesday, April 3: Central Asia looking forward.

Reading:

  • Cummings chapter 7.
  • 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 Monday's class.

 

Monday, April 8: Catch-up.

Reading: none.

Quiz:

  • Wednesday's class.

The Hissar Gate (ruins), Tajikistan

Wednesday, April 10: Diplomatic Forum I. See Forum page.

 

Monday, April 15: Diplomatic Forum II. See Forum page.

 

Wednesday, April 17: Diplomatic Forum III. See Forum page.

 

Final exam: Monday, April 22 from 5:00-7:00.