Visiting Russian Scholar

CSEES & International Studies host Visiting Scholar from St. Petersburg for Spring 11

International Studies and the Center for Slavic & East European Studies are very pleased to be sponsoring Dr. Andrey Shcherbak from Russia to teach three classes for Spring 2011.

Dr. Shcherbak is affiliated with the European University in St. Petersburg and has international experience teaching in the UK, Norway and the United States.

He has authored several publications in Russia on parties and elections, fiscal federalism in the Russian regions and the effects of the "resource curse" on Russian political development.

Since the middle 1980s, Russia has undergone massive changes in its political and economic systems and in its position in global politics. The Communist party led state apparatus has been largely dismantled. However, a powerful state still holds power. Centralized planning of the economy has given way to an oligopoly-based variant of a market economy. The Soviet empire has fallen apart as a large number of former client states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have attained independence or are seeking it.

With all of these changes, however, Russia is still a critical player in global affairs. Its military, particularly its WMD arsenal and high-technology weapons, remain among the most formidable on the planet. It is an important energy producing country. Its scientific and intellectual talents are first rate. In total, though its position in world affairs is diminished when compared to the 1950-1985 time period of the height of the cold war, it still possesses much influence over the Eurasian land mass due to its massive size, presence and power.

Dr. Shcherbak's three Spring 2011 classes will each explore important aspects of Russia today.

Contemporary Russian Politics

MW 1:30–3:18 PM
Class Number 5709

The class will start with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It will trace the making and unmaking of major political institutions in Russia, including the presidency and the parliament. Comparisons will be made between the political regimes of Yeltsin and Putin/Medevedev. The viability of political parties and elections will be studied as well as regional affairs, ethnic conflicts and the impact of organized crime.

Power & Business in Russia

TR 9:30–11:18 AM
Class Number 5705

This class explores the complex relationships between political and economic leaders in Russia with a main focus on the period after the collapse of communism. Such topics as the "shadow economy", organized crime and corruption, the rise of the "oligarchs" and emergence of the market economy will be studied. The response of Putin and Medevedev to the global economic crisis will also be explored.

Political Economy of the Post-Soviet Space

MW 9:30–11:18 AM
Class Number 5710

Here, the emphasis will be on the complicated trajectories of the post-Soviet transitional economies with a main focus on the diversity of starting positions as well as the choices of policy-makers. The class will explore why the command economy collapsed, how reformers launched market reforms, why privatization is so difficult, the "oligarchs" phenomenon, the 1998 financial crisis, 2004 oil shock and the impact of the 2008-9 global financial crisis on Russia. Such diverse locales as Estonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Belarus will also be studied in these contexts.

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