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 Kevork Oskanian

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 modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.