The Russian Economy: From Plan to Market

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Richard Connolly

The institutions of the Soviet planned economy are reviewed, together with the system of economic planning and the non-market allocation of resources. The behavioural characteristics of the system are explored and its economic performance analysed. Attempts to reform the system, including the Gorbachev perestroika are investigated and the reasons for the economy's decline and ultimate collapse explored.

This understanding of the planned economy provides the basis for a detailed examination of post-communist economic transformation in Russia with some comparisons, when appropriate, with other economies in transition. Issues of macroeconomic stabilisation, domestic and external liberalisation and privatisation are analysed. The 1998 financial crisis and its aftermath is analysed, and the role of Western assistance and investment investigated. In conclusion, prospects for the creation of a viable market economy are explored, with comparisons with China, India and other large emerging economies: what kind of capitalism is evolving in Russia under President Putin and beyond? 

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module the student should be able to:

  • Critically appreciate  the political economy of a non-market system
  • Have an awareness of the concepts and theories surrounding the transformation of planned economic systems to market based economies
  • Have an ability to place the issues and debates surrounding economic transformation into a  comparative framework
  • Show an awareness of the contemporary political context of economic transformation in Russia


  • Term One: 1 x 3,000 assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 3 hour examination (50%)

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.