• Class Number 2038
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kirill Nourzhanov
    • Dr Kirill Nourzhanov
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course provides an introduction to the politics of Russia. It traces the evolution of Russian politics by offering a wide-range discussion of main events, figures and scholarly interpretations of Russia's past and present. While the initial focus is on the rise and fall of communist ideology and institutions, the course examines in detail the ongoing development of political structures in post-communist Russia and the forces, both domestic and international, that shape the life of Russians today.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. familiarise themselves with Russia as a geographic and cultural entity, and major phases in its historical development;
  2. reflect on, and discuss the key concepts, themes, and schools of thought pertaining to politics and international relations of Russia, with a special emphasis on the notions of democracy, totalitarianism, imperialism, and post-Communist transition;
  3. analyse historical and current developments in Russia, using these intellectual tools; and
  4. locate and collate materials on a topic relevant to Russian studies, and present their findings cogently.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 1. Introduction to the course: eternal questions of Russian politics 2. Pre-revolutionary Russia: political and socio-economic conditions
2 3. Karl Marx, his theory of revolution, and its development in Russia 4. Lenin: ideas and actions Tutorials begin
3 5. The Revolutions of 1917 6. The emergence of the Leninist political system, the rule of the Communist Party and the creation of the Soviet Union Tutorial quiz
4 7. Stalin's ‘Revolution from Above’: collectivisation, industrialisation and terror 8. Stalinism and its interpreters Tutorial quiz
5 9. The structure of the post-Stalinist political system 10. ‘Mature Socialism’: the USSR as a welfare state Tutorial quiz
6 11. Soviet foreign policy: between ideology and pragmatism 12. Gorbachev's Perestroika Tutorial quiz First essay is due on 1 April 2021
7 13. The collapse of the USSR: systemic factors and 'bad fortune' 14. The political system of new Russia Tutorial quiz
8 15. Building capitalism, Russian-style 16. Elites, parties and elections in post-Soviet Russia Tutorial quiz
9 17. Centre-periphery relations and problems of federalism 18. Societal and cultural change after communism Tutorial quiz Essays are returned to students via Wattle
10 19. ‘Restoring Russia’s greatness’: Vladimir Putin in power 20. Russia’s domestic security dilemmas: the war in Chechnya, terrorism, and popular protest Tutorial quiz
11 21. Russia’s foreign policy: between Atlanticism and Eurasianism 22. Understanding Moscow’s relations with the ‘Near’ and ‘Far’ abroad today Tutorial quiz
12 23. ‘National’ and ‘universal’ values in Russian politics today 24. Putinism and its challengers Tutorial quiz Examination period, June 3-19

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration will be available on the course's Wattle site starting 5 February 2021

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
A 3,000-word research essay 50 % 01/04/2021 29/04/2021 1-4
Either a take-home examination, or a 2,000 word essay (± 10%) at the end of the semester 40 % * * 3-4
Tutorial performance 10 % * * 2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 01/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 29/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1-4

A 3,000-word research essay

The essay will be assessed against one or more of Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4, on (in descending order of importance):

— whether and how well the question is answered;

— whether and how well an argument is presented;

— the factual accuracy of the essay;

— the depth and sophistication of research demonstrated in the essay;

— whether academic conventions have been followed; and

— the technical quality of the essay.

·     Must be formatted for ease of reading, i.e. it must:

— be word processed or typed;

— be in a commonly used font, of a size roughly similar to Times 12pt for main text and roughly Times 10pt for footnotes;

— be 1.5-spaced or double-spaced for the main text, and single spaced for the footnotes, bibliography, and any appendices;

— have wide margins left and right; and

— be on standard (A4) sized pages, paginated throughout.

·     Must be submitted electronically on Wattle, using the Turnitin protocol on the course site. Essays submitted in any other way may not be received or accepted, unless an alternative submission means has been previously agreed with the course convener.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 3-4

Either a take-home examination, or a 2,000 word essay (± 10%) at the end of the semester

The final examination:

·     Will be held during the First Semester examination period (3– 19 June inclusive). Students must make themselves available to sit the examination at any time during this period.

·     Will be of 24 hours’ duration and follow the open book format.

·     Will entail answering two questions in a flexible format (could be essay-like, dot-point, poetic, etc,) Advice on the questions will be provided during tutorials well ahead of the exam.

·     Will count for 40% of the total course assessment and final mark.

·     Will be assessed against one or more of Learning Outcomes 3 and 4, and will be assessed on (in descending order of importance):

— whether and how well the questions posed are answered;

— whether and how well facts and arguments, as applicable, are presented in the answers;

— the depth and sophistication of knowledge and understanding demonstrated in the examination.

An essay in lieu of the exam must comply with the requirements for the major research essay as outlined in Assessment Task 1. It is due for a Turnitin upload no later than 4pm on the day of the exam. Topics for the second essay will be published in Week 8 and further advice will be provided during tutorials. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,4

Tutorial performance

·        Tutorial performance will be based on three types of in-class activities:

-         quizzes reflecting the essential reading for a particular week (students in an online tutorial will be asked to submit short reading reports in lieu of quizzes);

-         individual participation in the free-for-all discussion;

-         small group work on problem resolution.

·        Tutorial attendance is not assessable per se but is highly desirable as there are no alternatives to the activities outlined above. The tutorial mark will be made available on May 28 and is not open to appraisal by a second examiner.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Research Interests

History, politics and international relations of Russia and Eurasia

Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Monday 10:00 12:00
Monday 10:00 12:00
Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Research Interests

Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Monday 10:00 12:00
Monday 10:00 12:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions