• Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies, Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Kirill Nourzhanov
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Syllabus: Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, fifteen former Soviet republics emerged as sovereign states.  All of them have struggled to evolve working political systems and maintain sovereignty and internal cohesion. The newly independent states have been under pressure from Russia, China and the USA competing for geopolitical influence and, in a number of cases, control over extensive energy resources. Most of them have experienced economic decline, armed conflicts, terrorism, civil violence, organised crime and separatism of minority groups.  The West today perceives post-Soviet Eurasia, with a population of approximately 300 million, as a zone of chronic instability posing threats to regional and global security. 

The course will seek to analyse topical developments and highlight long-term trends in security choices of the former Soviet Union. Emphasis will be placed on the issues of great power rivalry, ethno-nationalism, and conflict management. The course will discuss security dilemmas at multiple levels, ranging from state policies to sub-state actors and transnational issues, but special attention will be given to regional security complexes involving Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Recognise the successor states to the USSR, their peoples, geography, culture, and politics.
  2. Reflect on, and discuss the key concepts, themes, and schools of thought pertaining to Geopolitics, the Regional Security Complex Theory, and ethnic conflict studies.
  3. Analyse international relations, security dilemmas, and crisis situations in Eurasia, using these intellectual tools.
  4. Identify sub-state, interstate, regional, and transnational security threats affecting the former Soviet republics.
  5. Locate and collate materials on a topic relevant to the post-Soviet political space, and present findings in a coherent manner on paper and orally.

Other Information

This course is considered compatible with Security Studies and Asian Politics and International Relations fields of study.

Indicative Assessment

One 3,000-word essay (50%) (assesses LO 2-5), and either a two-hour examination or a 2000 word essay (40%) (assesses LO 1, 3 and 5.

Tutorial assessment (based on reading and performance) (10%) (assesses LO 1 and 5).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two lectures and one tutorial per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of 1000 level courses. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Ariel Cohen (ed.) Eurasia in Balance. The US and the Regional Power Shift. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.

Olga Oliker and Thomas S. Szayna (eds.) Faultlines of Conflict in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Santa Monica: RAND, 2003.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2187 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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