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Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Book chapter
The Stolbovo Treaty and Tracing the Border in Ingria in 1617–1618

Adrian Selin.

In bk.: Sweden, Russia, and the 1617 Peace of Stolbovo. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2024. P. 99-118.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Political History of Russia and Foreign Countries

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Compulsory course
1 year, 1-4 module


Course Syllabus


This is a general course introducing fundamental political processes in the world from the early modern time to 1991. The course will outline historical contexts of such issues as formation of modern state and governmental practices; emergence of nation-states; social and political revolutions; mass politics and new forms of political movements. The course is aimed at developing comparative thinking and deepening the understanding of any political phenomenon in its historical dimension.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To familiarize students with main events and phenomena of political history of foreign countries in the 16-20th centuries
  • To familiarize students with main concepts of political history
  • To develop students' comparative thinking
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • The student can comprehend primary sources effectively
  • The student consistently uses terminology of political history and knows main facts of political history of Russia and foreign countries (16th-20th centuries).
  • The student can solve scholarly issue in collaboration with groupmates.
  • The student can identify main thesis and issues raised in scholarly literature.
  • The student can comprehend primary sources effectively.
  • The student can participate in the debates on the issues under consideration.
  • The student can communicate information and ideas in a style that is completely appropriate to discussions of scholarly literature.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction: What is political history?
  • Approaching early modern Europe: main historical landmarks
  • Early Modern European state building
  • The Russian Empire in the making, XVI–XVII centuries
  • European politics in the XVIII century: Ancien regime and Enlightenment absolutisms
  • American War of Independence and the French Revolution
  • European wars and revolutions in the 19th century. Age of nationalism.
  • Age of nationalism: the issue of the emergence of the nation states
  • The politics of early modern colonial empires
  • European Imperialism and colonial rule in the 19th century
  • Industrial revolution in Europe and the world
  • The Russian Empire in the 19th century: power and reforms
  • Civil War in the USA and Reconstruction
  • Modernization of East Asia in the 19th century
  • The making of modern political ideologies: Liberalism and Conservatism
  • The making of modern political ideologies: Socialism and Anarchism
  • Politics in the First World War
  • The Russian Empire in the revolutions, 1905–1921
  • Early Soviet political system
  • Restructuring the world order after the First World War
  • Interregnum: Liberal democracies in crisis
  • Stalinism: totalitarian regime in the USSR
  • Liberal democracies in crisis and totalitarian regimes in Italy and Germany
  • The Spanish Civil War
  • World politics in the Second World War
  • The Cold War, 1946–1961
  • The Cold War, 1946–1991
  • Communist polities in global history
  • Democracy and the post-WW2 political regimes in the West
  • Political development of China in the 20th century
  • Decolonization in Asia and Africa. Resistance, revolutions, wars and global international organizations
  • Communist policies in global history and the “Global Sixties”: new political movements across the world
  • The making of neoliberal state.
  • The anti-communist revolutions of 1989–1991
  • The anti-communist revolutions of 1989–1991 The political crisis and the dissolution of the USSR and Yugoslavia
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Seminar discussion
    Each seminar discusses the issues, ideas and concepts from the assigned readings. Students must take active role in the discussion since their individual performance is assessed.
  • non-blocking Preliminary assessment 1
    Preliminary assessment consists of a written assignment which includes 2 questions based on the issues discussed during the seminars and lectures. First question is an open question whereas second question is for and against question.
  • non-blocking Debates
    Each subgroup has to prove a particular viewpoint concerning the development of PRC in the 20th century. Be careful each subgroup has to provide only argument for a particular viewpoint, not against it. Viewpoint 1 Chinese regime represented socialism with Chinese characteristics in maoist and postmaoist periods. Viewpoint 2 Chinese regime was more to do with nationalism than with socialism during maoist and postmaoist periods. Viewpoint 3 Chinese regime turned into a form of capitalist regime in postmaoist period and it had such tendencies even in maoist period. The presentation should last 10-12 minutes. Each group can use additional material while finding arguments for a particular viewpoint. Each group has to prepare a list of questions for other groups and to participate in the discussion actively.
  • non-blocking Exam test
    The final exam is a test in SmartLMS covering the topics and questions discussed in seminars and lectures. Students have to log in to their personal LMS accounts 5 minutes prior to the exam, and open the page of the discipline “Political history of Russia and Foreign countries”. Students’ computers should meet the following requirements: stable access to Internet, Google Chrome, Opera or Safari, access to LMS. In order to take the exam, students need login and password to their personal LMS account. They have to log in according to the schedule of the exam. During the exam it is forbidden to plagiarize, (copy material, communicate with the groupmates, etc.) and to open any new tabs other than LMS test.
  • non-blocking Preliminary assessment 2
    Preliminary assessment consists of one open-end question. Preliminary assessment is held during last 15 minutes of the seminar.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2022/2023 2nd module
    0.6 * Seminar discussion + 0.4 * Preliminary assessment 1
  • 2022/2023 4th module
    0.2 * Preliminary assessment 2 + 0.3 * Exam test + 0.15 * Debates + 0.2 * Seminar discussion + 0.15 * 2022/2023 2nd module


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Banner, J. M. (2012). Being a Historian : An Introduction to the Professional World of History. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=438567
  • Berger, S. (2006). A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Europe, 1789 - 1914. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=147363
  • Elliott, J. H. (2006). Empires of the Atlantic World : Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830. New Haven: Yale University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=188044
  • Hobsbawm, E. J. (2012). Nations and Nationalism Since 1780 : Programme, Myth, Reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=909520
  • James, H. (2014). Europe Reborn : A History, 1914-2000. Hoboken: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=812600
  • Jan C. Jansen, & Jürgen Osterhammel. (2017). Decolonization : A Short History. Princeton University Press.
  • Klimke, M., Pekelder, J., & Scharloth, J. (2011). Between Prague Spring and French May : Opposition and Revolt in Europe, 1960-1980. New York: Berghahn Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=416085
  • Morgan, P. (2003). Fascism in Europe, 1919-1945. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=94858
  • Wilson, P. H. (2000). Absolutism in Central Europe. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=79626

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Besier, G., & Stokłosa, K. (2013). European Dictatorships : A Comparative History of the Twentieth Century. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=685806
  • Burbank, J. (DE-588)141712732, (DE-576)164382186. (2010). Empires in world history : power and the politics of difference / Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper. Princeton, NJ [u.a.]: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.321297032
  • Gordon, A. (2003). A Modern History of Japan : From Tokugawa Times to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=120926
  • Olivier Pétré-Grenouilleau. (2004). From Slave Trade to Empire : European Colonisation of Black Africa 1780s-1880s. Routledge.
  • Zubok, V. M. (2007). A Failed Empire : The Soviet Union in the Cold War From Stalin to Gorbachev. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=301081