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Courses / Modules / SSPC3001 State and Society in Contemporary Russia

State and Society in Contemporary Russia

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 6
Module lead
John Walker
Academic year

Module overview

This module explores the evolution of state and society in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, focusing both on state-society relations and on wide-ranging social divisions . The early post-Soviet period was characterised by massive social, political, economic and cultural dislocation that saw a former global superpower descend into a chaotic form of survival characterised by state failure on a massive scale. While the Putin era has constituted a period of recovery and rebuilding, as exemplified by the Sochi Olympics and Fifa World Cup as well as an apparent return to Russia’s problematic relations with the West, relations between state and society remain heavily strained, as welfare systems such as healthcare and education fail to live up to growing expectations, corruption undermines economic and political life, and poverty and social marginalisation remain widespread. As the largest country in the world, the Russian state also faces unique challenges in managing its vast territories, from ethnic and religious diversity across its regions to the fate of rural Russia and Soviet ‘monotowns’. Finally, relations within Russian society are marked by a spectrum of new and old divisions along the lines of social class, gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, disability and citizenship, in which the state is more or less complicit.

State and Society in Contemporary Russia allows students to explore state-society relations and social divisions in a fascinating country undergoing wide-ranging transformation.