POL42450 Russian Foreign Policy

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module examines continuity and change between the roles of the USSR and the Russian Federation in international politics, with particular emphasis on the ramifications of Russian foreign policy for the European continent. While we will cover cases in both Soviet and Russian foreign policy, much of our in-class time will be spent discussing Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine – including potential reasons for the attack, ways to de-escalate or resolve the conflict, and possible pathways forward in Europe’s future relations with a Russia (with or without Putin).

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course students will have developed a better understanding of:
• Explanations of Russian foreign policy based on major theories of International Relations
• Continuity and change in Soviet/Russian foreign policy, both regionally (esp. Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Black Sea regions) and globally
• Soviet and Russian understandings of, and policy towards, Europe and the transatlantic community
• Russia’s relations with its neighbors, including bilateral and multilateral political, economic and security dimensions

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
• Seminar
• Group discussions
• Academic reading and writing 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Presentation on a substantive issue in Russian foreign policy/in Russian-Western relations Week 12 n/a Graded No


Attendance: Participation in seminars and demonstrating knowledge of readings Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Policy brief: directions of Russian foreign policy Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided to students within 20 working days of the deadline for the assignment in accordance with university policy.