University of Waterloo, Department of Political Science
PSCI 253 -- Winter 2010
Instructor: John (Ivan) Jaworsky, Rm. 307 HH, telephone -- ext. 36566
Instructor e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Class held on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the winter 2010 term, 10:00-11:20, in MC 2034
Office hours: Tues. 1:30-3:00; Wed. 1:30-3:30
Undergraduate Secretary, Dept. of Political Science: Karen Walo, Rm. 313 HH, ext. 33396
PREREQUISITE: Level at least 2A
FORMAT: Lectures and class discussions
DESCRIPTION: A comparative examination of political processes, institutions, and reforms in post-
communist states, with a heavy focus on Russia.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: This is a comparative politics course. Students will learn about the
meaning and significance of political processes and institutions, and the successes and failures of
democratization, by focusing on a specific region: the post-Soviet region, with a particular focus on
Russia. At the same time, students will gain interesting and useful insights into the nature of politics in
an important and fascinating region which has undergone very rapid and turbulent changes since the
collapse of the Soviet Union.
REQUIREMENTS: There will be a mid-term exam, worth 20% of the final mark, held on Thursday
March 18, and an end-of-term exam, held during the regular exam period, worth 40% of the final mark.
Students are required to write a course essay worth 40% of the final mark. The essay topic must be
approved by the instructor, and students should consult with the instructor as they work on the essay.
The deadline for the submission of the essay is the last class of the semester (Thursday April 1). NB --
Students should not make end-of-semester travel plans until the final exam schedule has been
The course will be run as a lecture course; however, students are encouraged to ask questions and raise
matters relevant to the course in class. Students are also encouraged to consult with the instructor during
regular office hours. The course will be administered using UW-ACE, and all non-lecture information
relevant to the course will be provided to students using UW-ACE.
TEXTBOOK: Catherine Danks, Politics Russia (2009). Other course materials are available as E-
readings (see the required readings list below), and can be accessed through TRELLIS. Students will be
provided with information concerning relevant internet resources (e.g., for your course essays).
Throughout the semester, the instructor will use the UW-ACE system to provide students with brief
articles supplementing the course materials listed below. If you are not informed otherwise, you are
responsible for reading all of these supplementary materials.
SCHEDULE OF LECTURES AND REQUIRED READINGS
Introduction to the Course
The Context of Post-Communism: Rebuilding the State and Moving Towards
Democracy? (Jan. 5, 7)
Text (Danks): Chapter 4.
Dahl, “What Political Institutions Does Large-Scale Democracy Require?” Political Science Quarterly
120, No. 2 (Summer 2005).
Historical Legacies and their Significance (Jan. 12, 14, 19)
Text (Danks): Chapters 2, 1, and 3 (I recommend that you read these chapters in this order).
Padma Desai, ed., Conversations on Russia, Part IV (“The Role of History”), Chapters 16 and 17. NB –
this book is available online through the university library.
Khazanov, “Whom to Mourn and Whom to Forget? (Re)constructing Collective Memory in
Contemporary Russia,” Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 9 (June 2008).
The Executive and Legislature (Jan. 21, 26, 28, Feb. 2, 4)
Text (Danks): Chapter 5 and 6.
Hale, “The Myth of Mass Authoritarianism in Russia: Public Opinion Foundations of a Hybrid Regime,”
NCEEER, 2009. URL: http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/nceeer/2009_823-03_Hale.pdf
Fish, “Stronger Legislatures, Stronger Democracies,” Journal of Democracy Vol.17, No. 1 (January
Stoner-Weiss, “Russia: Authoritarianism Without Authority,” Journal of Democracy 17, No. 1 (January
Brown, “Forms Without Substance,” Journal of Democracy 20, No. 2 (April 2009).
Reddaway, “Two-Part Czar,” The National Interest (May/June 2009), available at the following URL:
White and Mcallister, “The Putin Phenomenon,” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics
24, No. 4 (December 2008).
Kryshtanovskaya, “The Russian Elite in Transition,” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition
Politics 24, No. 4 (December 2008).
Towards the Rule of Law? The Problem of Corruption (Feb. 9, 11)
Text (Danks): Chapter 8.
Holmes, "Corruption and Organised Crime in Putin's Russia," Europe-Asia Studies 60 (August 2008).
“Russia’s Judicial System,” special issue of Russian Analytical Digest Newsletter No. 59, 5 May 2009,
available at the following URL: http://www.res.ethz.ch/analysis/rad (click on the appropriate issue of
“Massive Corruption Threatens Russian State,” lead article to 3-part series, available at following URL:
http://www.rferl.org/content/Massive_Corruption_Threatens_Russian_State_/1889338.html Read all 3
articles that are part of the series.
Civil Society, Parties, the Media, and Elections (Feb. 23, 25, Mar. 2, 4)
Text (Danks): Chapters 10, 11, and 12.
Matveeva, "Exporting Civil Society: The Post-Communist Experience," Problems of Post-Communism
55 (March - April 2008).
McAllister and White, "'It's the Economy, Comrade!' Parties and Voters in the 2007 Russian Duma
Election," Europe-Asia Studies 60 (August 2008).
Gelman, "Party Politics in Russia: From Competition to Hierarchy," Europe-Asia Studies 60 (August
Simons and Strovsky, “Censorship in Contemporary Russian Journalism in the Age of the War Against
Terrorism: A Historical Perspective,” European Journal Of Communication 21, No. 2 (June 2006).
Eismont, “Freedom Postponed,” Index on Censorship 38, No. 3 (August 2009).
The Economy (Mar. 9, 11, 16)
Text (Danks): Chapters 14 and 15.
Rutland, "Putin's Economic Record: Is the Oil Boom Sustainable?" Europe-Asia Studies 60 (August
Hedlund, "Rents, Rights, and Service: Boyar Economics and the Putin Transition," Problems of Post-
Communism 55 (July-August 2008).
Ahrend, “Can Russia Break the "Resource Curse?” Eurasian Geography and Economics Vol. 46, No. 8
N.B. Mid-term exam: Thursday March 18
Society (Mar. 23, 25)
Eberstadt, “Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb,” World Affairs Journal (Spring 2009),
available at the following URL: http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/2009%20-%20Spring/full-
Shlapentokh, “Big Money as an Obstacle to Democracy in Russia,” Journal of Communist Studies and
Transition Politics 24, No. 4 (December 2008).
“Social Movements and the State in Russia,” special issue of Russian Analytical Digest Newsletter No.
50, 18 Nov 2008, available at the following URL: www.res.ethz.ch/analysis/rad (click on the
appropriate issue of the newsletter).
Looking to the Future (Mar. 30, Apr. 1)
Text (Danks): Chapter 16.
McFaul, “Transitions from Postcommunism,” Journal of Democracy 16, No. 3 (July 2005).
Hanson, “The Uncertain Future of Russia’s Weak State Authoritarianism,” East European Politics and
Societies” 21, No. 1 (2007).
Bunce, “The Tasks of Democratic Transition and Transferability,” Orbis 52, No. 1 (2008).
Petrov, “Warm Spell or Spring Thaw?: Imagined and Real Changes in the Russian Political System,”
Russian Politics and Law 47 (Nov.-Dec. 2009).
NOTE ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND OFFENSES
Academic Integrity: In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of
Waterloo are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. [Check
http://www.uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity/ for more information.]
Discipline: A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing
academic offences, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an
action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism,
cheating) or about “rules” for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor,
academic advisor, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean. When misconduct has been found to have
occurred, disciplinary penalties will be imposed under Policy 71 – Student Discipline. For information on
categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 - Student Discipline,
http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy71.htm. For typical penalties check Guidelines for
the Assessment of Penalties, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/guidelines/penaltyguidelines.htm.
Grievance: A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been
unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70 - Student Petitions and
Grievances, Section 4, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy70.htm. When in doubt
please be certain to contact the department’s administrative assistant who will provide further assistance.
Appeals: A student may appeal the finding and/or penalty in a decision made under Policy 70 - Student
Petitions and Grievances (other than regarding a petition) or Policy 71 - Student Discipline if a ground for
an appeal can be established. Read Policy 72 - Student Appeals,
Academic Integrity website (Arts): http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/arts/ugrad/academic_responsibility.html
Academic Integrity Office (UW): http://uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity/
Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:
Note for students with disabilities: The Office for Persons with Disabilities (OPD), located in Needles
Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for
students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require
academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the OPD at the
beginning of each academic term.