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Regular version of the site

Russia's Identity and BRICS in World Politics

2022/2023
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
4
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
When:
4 year, 3 module

Instructor


Akopov, Sergei

Course Syllabus

Abstract

In this course we approach the sociocultural premises of Russian foreign policy, which often remain implicit yet invite direct inquiry. The idea of the course is a comparative analysis of Russia's Identity in World Politics through perspectives of different schools of International Relations. The main focus of the course goes on the role Russian political actors play in the construction of “Global South - North” relationships while others turn into “Global Nomads” like transnational migrants, “third culture kids” and transnational intellectuals. Exploring phenomena of political securitization, deconstruction of political images of the “enemy”, collective guilt and moral debt that the West owes to “Global South”, we discuss the terms under which regional conflicts could be negotiation within the supranational institutions (like UNESCO) and turned for the good of a planetary development. The course is based on the interactive principle and qualitative research methods; the students are encouraged to participate in the discussions over the key problems that national and transnational actors face within Russian and world politics in the era of globalization. The assessment of the course includes a creative research portfolio and its oral presentation in the class.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • to examine the core literature necessary for understanding of societal and political developments
  • to know key concepts and approaches in global and transnational relations
  • to gain necessary skills for academic discussion, reading, and writing also doing research design
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • studies, gains new expertise, conducts academic discussions in English
  • comprehends academic questions in the field of social sciences
  • gains skills of information literacy and are capable of analyzing research in the field of transnational networks of global nomads
  • defines research questions, set aims and goals, define the research object and subject, choose research methods, and evaluate the quality of research
  • obtains skills of public discussion in English, using professional terminology
  • has skills necessary for analyzing major political and social transformations of “Global North” and “Global South”
  • conducts academic and applied research in social sciences
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Lecture 1: The problem of “Global North - South” Through the Prism of “Great Debates” in IR Theory: Realism and Neorealism. Seminar 1: Interactive Class Game on Theories of International Relations
  • Seminar 2: Review and Discussion: The problem of “Global North - South” Through the Prism of “Great Debates” in IR Theory – Realism and Neorealism Lecture 2: Sovereignty Among the “Friends” and “Enemies” Through the Lenses of Liberalism
  • Seminar 3: Sovereignty Among the “Friends” and “Enemies” Through the Lenses of Liberalism Lecture 3: Challenging the Hegemony of “The Core”: A Neomarxist View on Russian Geopolitics
  • Lecture 4: Social Construction of Russia’s Collective Memory Lecture 4: Social Construction of Russia’s Collective Memory
  • Seminar 5: Review and Discussion: Social Construction of Russia’s Collective Memory Lecture 5: “Poststructural turn” in a research of Russian Political Symbols
  • Seminar 6: Review and Discussion: “Poststructural Turn” in Research of Russian Political Symbols Lecture 6: Russia’s Post-Colonial Voice: Global Russians and The Problem of “Western Guilt”
  • Seminars 7: Review and Discussion: Russia’s Post-Colonial Voice: Global Russians and The Problem of “Western Guilt” Lecture 7: “Russia’s Identity” From A Feminist IR Perspective
  • Seminars 8: “Russia’s Identity” From A Feminist IR Perspective Lecture 8: Analysing Soft and Smart Powers in Russia’s Foreign Policy
  • Seminars 9 and 10: Student’s Portfolios Presentations
  • Seminars 11 and 12: Student’s Portfolios Presentations
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking participation in seminar discussions
    Participation in seminar discussions (not the attendance, but real contributions). Students are required to participate actively, intelligently and regularly in class discussions; To achieve listed above learning outcomes students will be required to attend most of the seminars and actively participate in them. To facilitate seminar discussions students are expected to read the assigned texts for each seminar. To communicate their ideas to others, students may be asked to present their written summaries on the seminar discussion.
  • non-blocking oral weekly summaries of the assigned readings
    Every week teams of two students will have to prepare a short 20 min. introduction to each seminar based on the texts for home reading: a brief outline of main arguments and findings and a set of questions for discussion. Students are required to read texts for each class meeting and prepare oral reports; For each class, a team of two students prepares a short presentation (3-4 slides in PowerPoint), with a brief outline of main findings in the assigned text and a set of questions for discussion (no less than five).
  • non-blocking written Research portfolio and final student’s portfolio presentation
    Each student will require writing a research portfolio presentation 2000 - 3000 words. Students are required to submit a Research portfolio on a chosen subject (portfolio theme to be discussed with a professor). Apart from the exam, students can discuss their progress in the course and get additional guidance from their teacher through individual appointments, email, or after classes. The course will finish with Research portfolio presentations - a collection of materials organized in one file arranged in coherence with one of the topics from the course. Making portfolios is a part of a “learning by doing” process that intends to encourage your “want to learn” creative behaviour and practice research methods. Portfolio is a collection of printed materials provided by the student in a file, along with reflections. Portfolio begins with a short (300 words) “Letter to yourself” about “what do I want from this course?” This task stresses students’ autonomy in the definition of learning goals and outcomes (later to be compared with “what did I actually get from the course?”). The framing of this exercise highlights the agency of the student: “Hi, Future Me! … I want you to remember some important things and ideas from this course”. Portfolios should also include essays, critique, reflections, fieldwork, theoretical or practical pieces, conference papers, book reviews, audio and video clips with reflection notes, diaries with academic comments etc. escorted by written explanations of the importance of each entry as well as their interconnection. Overall student should provide in one portfolio minimum 5 different pieces of work with a total sum of 2000 - 3000 words (around 8 pages). Students shall be ready to present their portfolios orally during the seminars.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2022/2023 3rd module
    0.25 * participation in seminar discussions + 0.5 * written Research portfolio and final student’s portfolio presentation + 0.25 * oral weekly summaries of the assigned readings
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Morozov, V. (2015). Russia’s Postcolonial Identity : A Subaltern Empire in a Eurocentric World. [Basingstoke]: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=998101

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Baylis, J. (DE-588)139834338, (DE-576)160207436. (2011). The globalization of world politics : an introduction to international relations / John Baylis; Steve Smith; Patricia Owens. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.335482058