Contemporary Russian and East European Politics

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

Second year module

Lecturer: Dr David White

The module focuses on contemporary Russia and Ukraine as the two biggest Soviet successor states. Consideration is given to the progress or otherwise of democracy, institutional design, notions of nationhood and 'national ideas', spatial politics in Russia and Ukraine as well as tensions between state-building and democratisation in Ukraine. The course also analyses the international dimension: both relations between Ukraine and Russia within the CIS and their respective relations with the West in general, and NATO and EU in particular. The aim is also to develop an in-depth understanding of the contemporary developments in the two key countries of the former Soviet Union.

Learning outcomes

Student will be able to:

  • Contextualise the key features of contemporary Russia's polity in terms of both Russia's past and comparative international experience;
  • Critically apply theories of transition, democratisation and party formation to the specifics of contemporary Russia and Ukraine;
  • Identify the key socio-political processes in independent Ukraine and assess their importance within Ukraine and the wider world


  • Term One: 1 essay x 2,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)

Related courses:

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.