Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3128: Post-Soviet Politics and Societies

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.

Module Aims

This module will introduce you to the history of the USSR and the internal politics and international relations of the states that have emerged in its place, namely Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The module has four main aims. First, it will enable you to analyse key processes and developments in Soviet and post-Soviet politics. By the end of the module, you will be able to identify and assess key legacies of the Soviet experience, evaluate the reasons behind the diversity of regime types in the region, appreciate the reasons for the domestic success of the Putin model of governance and understand some of the key conflicts that have erupted in the post-Soviet era. Second, it will enable you to critically employ key concepts and analytical frameworks associated with the region, including totalitarianism, the transition paradigm, frozen conflicts and Eurasianism. Thirdly, it will introduce you to concepts, perspectives and processes that will be useful in international relations and comparative politics more broadly, including post-colonialism, civil society and regionalism. Fourthly, it aims to develop a sensitivity towards the differences between Western and non-Western worldviews; by the end of the module, you will also be able to attune yourself to hidden assumptions in Western and Russian scholarly and journalistic reports on the region.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Comprehend and evaluate the modern historical contexts for contemporary events and processes in the post-Soviet space.
2. Comprehend and critically evaluate a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches to the region.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of these countries at the international level
Discipline-Specific Skills4. Critically employ a range of theoretical frameworks to a variety of empirical cases.
5. Critically analyze theoretical and empirical materials.
6. Independently collect, analyse, and interpret relevant empirical materials
Personal and Key Skills7. Construct a reasoned and logical argument supported by evidence.
8. Communicate effectively through well-structured speech and writing.
9. Work independently to achieve goals.