Universität Wien FIND

210078 VO BAK15: SpezialVO East European Studies (2021W)

Thirty years after the fall of the Soviet Union

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft

Nicht-prüfungsimmanente (n-pi) Lehrveranstaltung. Eine Anmeldung über u:space ist erforderlich. Mit der Anmeldung werden Sie automatisch für die entsprechende Moodle-Plattform freigeschaltet. Vorlesungen unterliegen keinen Zugangsbeschränkungen.

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Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates



Die VO findet jeden Mittwoch ab 6.10. von 16.45-18.15 Uhr digital statt.

06.10. Introduction
Tatiana Zhurzhenko (University of Vienna / ZOiS Berlin)

13.10. Gorbachev, the Perestroika and the Dissolution of the USSR
Wolfgang Müller (University of Vienna)

20.10. Trajectories of Post-Communist Regimes: A Framework for Comparison
Bálint Madlovics (Central European University, Budapest)

27.10. The Politics of Authoritarian Regime Building in Russia
Vladimir Gel’man (University of Helsinki / European University at St Petersburg)

03.11. Politics of History in Putin’s Russia
Maria Lipman (Moscow)

10.11. Nations and Nationalising Regimes post-1991
Diana T. Kudaibergenova (University of Cambridge)

17.11. Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria as Russia’s Client States: Degrees of Independent Agency for Eurasia’s ‘De Facto States’
Pål Kolstø (University of Oslo)

24.11. Religion in the Post-Soviet Space: Findings from Russia and Ukraine
Kristina Stöckl (University of Innsbruck)

01.12. The Baltic Way of Becoming European
Maria Mälksoo (University of Copenhagen)

15.12. Gendering post-socialist transformation: Women's Agency During Belarusian Protests
Elena Gapova (Western Michigan University)

12.01. Post-Soviet Regional Integration from an IR-Theoretical perspective: Between Neofunctionalism and Neo-Imperialism?
Aliaksei Kazharski (Comenius University, Bratislava)

19.01. The Ukraine-Russia Conflict and its Implications for the West
Paul D’Anieri (University of California, Riverside)


Aims, contents and method of the course

Thirty years ago, the failure of the 1991 August coup in Moscow accelerated the disintegration of the USSR. Within a few months, the Soviet Union, a nuclear superpower that for decades had represented the political and economic alternative to the capitalist West ceased to exist. Fifteen former Soviet republics embarked on nation and state building, market reforms and democratization. Three decades later, the outcomes of the post-communist transition in the region could not be more diverse. While the Baltic states have built stable democratic systems and joined the NATO and the European Union, authoritarian tendencies dominate in Russia, Belarus and Azerbaijan. Such countries as Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, while having preserved political pluralism and competitiveness, are caught in a vicious circle of political instability. Do the post-Soviet states still have something in common? Is the ‘post-Soviet moment’ already gone or do the successor states still deal with the political, economic and cultural legacies of the Soviet Union? Is the process of disintegration completed? Mass protests and revolutions have shaken many countries of the region in the last decade. The political geography is also in flux: the post-Soviet space has been re-shaped by territorial and ethnic conflicts, secessionism and emergence of de facto states. The annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict have demonstrated the fragility of the European post-Cold war security architecture and raised fears of a new Cold war. Thirty years after the crash of the “Communist alternative”, Russia’s “anti-liberal capitalism” presents itself as a new alternative to the West.
This course offers an overview of the main developments in the post-Soviet space in the last decades and addresses such topics as transformations of post-communist political regimes, nation building and language politics, political protests, territorial conflicts and quasi-states, post-Soviet integration projects, and regional security. It covers various aspects of post-communist transition and different countries of the region in comparative perspective. The lectures will be given by international experts from Europe, the USA, Russia and other post-Soviet countries. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the main concepts and approaches in post-Soviet studies as well as to make them acquainted with recent publications and current debates. Each session will consist of a one-hour lecture followed by a discussion. The lectures will be given in digital format.

Assessment and permitted materials

Digital Multiple Choice Exam via Moodle. During 60 min. students have to answer 20 MC-Questions.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

A fully correct answer to each of the 20 questions brings 1 point; the max. number of points is 20. Partial points are assigned for partially correct answers; partial points are deducted for incorrectly chosen partial answers. The number of correct answers will be given in brackets at the end of each question.

Scale of grading:
from <17,5> 1
from <15> 2
from <12.5> 3
from <10> 4
less than <10> 5

Examination topics

Contents of the lectures and recommended literature (one or two texts per session). Lectures will be given live. Recordings of the lectures, power point presentations and literature will be available on Moodle.

Reading list

will be offered via Moodle.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 15.03.2023 00:20