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Regular version of the site

Politics and Society in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine

2021/2022
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
6
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
When:
1 year, 1, 2 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course explores politics and society in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. While the course programme is mostly focused on the contemporary period, it will also touch upon historic period of the Russian Empire and the USSR. Key themes of the course are: existing conceptualisations of the region; state building and state fragility; Russian/Soviet legacies; ethnicity, nationhood, nation building and nationalism; (ethnic) conflict and conflict resolution; role of gender, family, religion, formal and informal networks and institutions in state-society relations; good governance and democracy promotion, its effect on the political regimes and its limitations; regional integration projects, key factors and possible integration formats. The course will help students to acquire knowledge on the nature of state, politics and society in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, and develop critical thinking on variations in and drivers of political, economic, social and cultural transformations in this part of the world. This course is designed as a joint online course between HSE and JLU Giessen (Germany).
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • It aims to provide students with nuanced understanding of political and societal transformations in in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Able to develop proposals and recommendations for applied research and consulting
  • Able to evaluate, model and forecast social and political processes at the global, international, national, regional, and local levels using methodology of empirical and theoretical research
  • Able to independently prepare the summary of analytical materials (reviews, notes, reports, reports, recommendations, etc.) and proposals for decision-makers in the political sphere in the countries of the Eurasian (post-Soviet) region
  • Able to organize and conduct political science expertise of socially significant projects in the countries of the Eurasian (post-Soviet) region
  • Able to use the current results of scientific research in political science, as well as interdisciplinary research in the Eurasian (post-Soviet) region to solve practical problems of professional activity.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • The complex historical legacy of Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova. The Soviet period and its influence on the current state of affairs in politics and societal development
  • Reaching independence: new challenges, new opportunities for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. Overcoming the Soviet legacy.
  • Complicated nation-building and multiple identities in post-Soviet Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine.
  • Ethnicity, nationalism, and language policy (I). Minority issues
  • Ethnicity, nationalism, and language policy (II)- Minority issues
  • Civil society and the prospects of democratization in the region
  • Foreign and domestic policy agenda: Eastern Partnership Program and the prospects of integration into the EU
  • Foreign and domestic policy agenda: A relationship with Russia
  • Protest movements and revolutions
  • Migration issues
  • Concluding discussion: The prospects of the region. European integration and/or overcoming the Soviet legacy?
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class participation
    Assessment will be based on attendance, preparation of readings, participation in class discussion with the focus on qualitative contribution to the discussion, ability to answer questions based on the readings, come up with own interpretations and reflections and react to comments made by other students.
  • non-blocking Group presentations
    Each tutorial (starting from the week 4) will commence by a presentation prepared by a small group of students (up to 4 students per group). During the first tutorial, students should propose for approval by the instructor: 1) composition of their groups; 2) topics for their presentations based on the topics/readings for the tutorials; 3) outlines of their presentations. These presentations will function as basis for further class discussion. Therefore, presenters are supposed to cover mandatory and optional readings and, preferably, use other non-assigned sources for their analysis on the chosen topic in order to make a genuinely original contribution.
  • non-blocking Tests/quizzes
    It is expected that there will be 10 tests/quizzes where students’ understanding, and knowledge of the literature and subject will be controlled. The quizzes will be conducted online, using Google Forms or Extended forms. Mini quizzes contain 10 questions to be answered in 7 minutes. The questions are MCQ with one correct answer to be picked among several. These questions are based on the class materials (lectures and mandatory readings for the class) for each topic.
  • non-blocking Final paper/final essay (2500-3000 words)
    The final paper should relate to any aspect of the course. It can be a critical review of the existing literature on a specific topic, or an original piece of research, or a small comparative research project (format and topic need to be approved by the instructor by the week 6). The final paper is due by the tutorial 12.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 1st module
  • 2021/2022 2nd module
    0.25 * Final paper/final essay (2500-3000 words) + 0.25 * Group presentations + 0.25 * In-class participation + 0.25 * Tests/quizzes
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Burlyuk, O., Shapovalova, N., & Zarembo, K. (2017). Introduction to the special issue : civil society in Ukraine : building on Euromaidan legacy. KYIV-MOHYLA LAW AND POLITICS JOURNAL ; ISSN: 2414-9942. https://doi.org/10.18523/kmlpj119977.2017-3.1-22
  • Cheskin, A., & Kachuyevski, A. (2019). The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Post-Soviet Space: Language, Politics and Identity. Europe-Asia Studies, 71(1), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2018.1529467
  • Pal Kolsto. (2018). Political Construction Sites : Nation Building In Russia And The Post-soviet States. Routledge.
  • Paul D’anieri. (2018). Politics And Society In Ukraine. Routledge.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Dr. Aneta Pavlenko. (2008). Multilingualism in Post-Soviet Countries. Multilingual Matters.
  • Lutsevych, O. aut. (2013). How to finish a revolution civil society and democracy in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine Orysia Lutsevych.
  • Maksimovtsova, K. (2019). Language Conflicts in Contemporary Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine : A Comparative Exploration of Discourses in Post-Soviet Russian-Language Digital Media. ibidem.