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221 Modern World Governments
Modern World Governments is an introductory course in comparative political analysis. The assumption here is that you can understand something better by putting it into a broader comparative perspective. We will begin by exploring some essential general concepts, and then go on to analyze a number of states as case studies. These states are chosen for their diverse levels of political development, as well as for their differing historical and cultural traditions. However, by using a uniform analytical framework, we can come to an appreciation not just of the differences that separate them, but also of the similarities that bind them together as members of the international society.

331 Soviet Politics
This course traces the origin and development of the Soviet Union, beginning in the pre-revolutionary period at the beginning of the twentieth century, and proceeding through the Leninist, Stalinist, and subsequent eras until the collapse of the system in the 1990s. It considers both the role of Marxism-Leninism in the establishment of the Soviet model, and the export of that model throughout Eastern Europe, East Asia and the Third World.

332 Post-Soviet Politics
The course is designed to analyze the process of political transition taking place in Russia. Classes will focus on the legacy of the communist past; the search for identity in Russia; democratization; electoral politics; and authoritarian threats to the transition.  We will analyze the major features of contemporary Russian politics, starting with the reasons for the collapse, the main features of the transition, the emergence of political institutions, political culture, political economy and a debate on Putin and Russia’s future.  

420/520 Engendering Communism, Nationalism, and Fundamentalism: Women along the Silk Road
The course will be designed to examine the intersections between politics, religion, nationalism, conflict and development both as they affect women and as they are affected by the role of women in the societies ranging from the Middle East, through Central Asia, to China. The course is designed to examine these issues across both time and culture, looking not only at how individual countries have changed, but also comparing how groups of countries have reacted to similar challenges facing women.  Students will have the opportunity and obligation to write intensively about the materials presented in the course, making presentations themselves, and presenting final research results. The course is designed as a senior/graduate seminar, available only to students who have requisite courses in Russian studies,  Middle Eastern Studies, East Asian Studies, Women’s Studies, and Political Science.

430/630B Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR
Students will read secondary materials on Gorbachev, but also an extensive set of primary documents translated from Russian, including Politiburo minutes, diary entries, records of conversations between world leaders, declassified State Dept documents, etc. We look at the nature of the Soviet system, both inside the USSR and as it was established in Eastern Europe, and consider whether it was destined to collapse through its own internal logic, or could have been reformed. We use extensive formal debates as an approach to examine the many controversial issues raised by the topic.

440/540 Putin’s Russia: Authoritarian Politics in Comparative Perspective

This course analyses the forces leading to the rise of Vladimir Putin in Russia, the social, political and economic basis of his regime, and the forces arrayed to sustain his rule. Students will prepare papers analyzing Putin’s charismatic authority, the background of elites in Putin’s circle, and a research paper on various aspects of the regime’s authority. Readings will focus not just on Russian politics but also on the nature of authoritarian regimes more broadly and the reasons why they both have succeeded and failed.