PSCI 3440 - Schedule

  PSCI 3440

  RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL

  ASIAN POLITICS


  SCHEDULE OF CLASSES

Schedule of Classes and Assignments


Monday, January 11: Introduction to the course.


Wednesday, January 13: Marxism-Leninism I. Marx and

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

Readings: none.


Karl Marx

Monday, January 18: MLK Day.


Wednesday, January 20: 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?

After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and Shiraev ch 2.


Soviet industrial poster art, 1920s and 1930s.

Monday, January 25: 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?

After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From course policies, today's class and Shiraev ch 3.


Wednesday, January 27: 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" <elearning>.

Study questions:

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

After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and Dunlop.


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

    Monday, February 1: Putinism I (2000-present). The "power vertical." Capitalism.

    Reading: Shiraev chs 4 and 5.

    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?

    After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and assigned reading.


    Wednesday, February 3: Putinism II (2000-2012).

    Reading: Shiraev chs 7 and 8.

    Study questions:

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

    After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and assigned reading.


    Monday, February 8: Putinism 2.0 (2012-present).

    Reading: Shiraev ch 10.

    After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and assigned reading.


      Wednesday, February 10: Economy and society.

      Reading: 

        • Shiraev ch 11.

      Study questions:

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

      After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and assigned reading.


      Monday, February 15: Exam I.

      Exam study guide (available on elearning under Week 6 by February 9).

      Pro-unification billboard during Crimean referendum, 2014.

      Wednesday, February 17: Russia and the world I.

      Reading:

      After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and assigned reading.


      Sunday, February 21: Assignment #1 due at 11:59 pm (see assignments page).


      Monday, February 22: Russia and the world II.

      Reading: Alexander Lukin, "How the United States Got Russia Wrong."

      Study questions:

        • The article by Lukin sums up the Russian position on what they view to be American interventionism, arrogance and hypocrisy. According to Lukin, what did the US do in the 1990s that led to the rise of anti-Americanism in Russia?
        • Lukin also argues that Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin went through the same evolution (and change) in their thinking about relations with the US. How so?

      After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's class and assigned reading.

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

        Wednesday, February 24: Post-communist diversity.

        Reading:

        After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.

          Rose Revolution demonstrations in Georgia, 2003

          Monday, March 1: Frozen conflicts and color revolutions I.

          Reading:

          Listen:

          Look:

          After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading, the NPR story, and today's class.

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

          Wednesday, March 3: Frozen conflicts and color revolutions II.

          Reading:

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

          After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.


            Monday, March 8: Sultanism: personalized politics. 

            Reading:

              • Cummings, ch 1.
              • Annette Bohr, "Independent Turkmenistan: from post-communism to sultanism," in Sally Cummings (ed), Oil, Transition and Security in Central Asia. RoutledgeCurzon, 2003; 9-24 <elearning>.

            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?

            After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.


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

            Wednesday, March 10: Electoral authoritarianism: elections without democracy.

            Reading:  

              • Cummings, ch2.

            After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.


            Monday, March 15: Oil and gas pipeline politics: connecting supply to markets. 

            Reading:

              • Cummings, ch 3.
              • Cristina Maza, "Central Asia’s pipeline politics: a quest for energy independence," Christian Science Monitor, September 24, 2015 <elearning>.
              • Paul Kubicek, "Energy politics and geopolitical competition in the Caspian Basin,"  Journal of Eurasian Studies 4 (2013), 171–180 <elearning>.

            After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.

            Irrigated field in Uzbekistan.

            Wednesday, March 17: The geopolitics of water.

            Reading:

            After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.


            Monday, March 22: Exam II.

            Exam study guide (available on elearning under Week 11 by March 16).


            Wednesday, March 24: No class.


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

            Monday and Wednesday, March 29 and 31: spring break.


            Monday, April 5: Identity.

            Reading:

              • Cummings, ch 5.
              • Aidos Sarym, "Nation-building in Kazakhstan," Central Asia at 25, 43-47.

            After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.


              Wednesday, April 7: Religion. Gender.

                • Alima Bissenova, "The return of Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia: evaluating the past, looking to the future," Central Asia at 25, 77-79.
                • 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.

              After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's reading and today's class.

              The Hissar Gate (ruins), Tajikistan

              Monday, April 12: 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?

              After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's readings and today's class.


              Wednesday, April 14: Central Asia in the world.

              Reading:

              After-class quiz deadline: Saturday night 11:59 pm. From today's readings and today's class.


              Monday, April 19: Central Asia looking forward. 

              Reading:

                • Cummings ch 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.

              After-class quiz deadline: Thursday night 11:59 pm. From today's readings and today's class.


              Wednesday April 21: No class.


              Final exam: April 26 (activated at 8:00 am with a 24-hour window).

              The study guide is available on elearning starting on 4/19.