Russian Politics

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course offers a multidisciplinary overview of contemporary Russian politics, with a particular focus on historical legacies, political economy, and identity politics. In the process, students will learn about theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that scholars have used to explain political outcomes in both Russia and the rest of the world. Equally important, students will also learn about the shortcomings of these approaches and their consequences.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


  • Demonstrate understanding of trends and events in Russian history
  • Show general knowledge of Russia´s political structure and key forces in contemporary Russian politics
  • Show evidence of deep comprehension of the important social-scientific concepts, approaches and theories used to understand Russian politics. These concepts, approaches and theories include, but are not limited to, historical political economy, constructivist theories of identity politics and the transition paradigm.


  • Demonstrate an ability to use social-scientific concepts, approaches and theories to investigate political phenomena; show awareness of limits and shortcomings of these concepts, approaches and theories.
  • Use scientific approaches to evaluate causal claims about political phenomena

General competence

  • Critically and scientifically evaluate the implications of theory, establish scope conditions and express uncertainty about claims regarding political phenomena; both abstractly and with regard to the Russian case
  • Use the Russian case to engage with broader debates in political science, e.g. those regarding the long-term implications of historical events and the relationship between identity and political behavior

ECTS Credits

10 credits

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring (with the exception of 2024)
Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Open to all students at the University of Bergen
Teaching and learning methods

Form: Lectures

Hours per week: 2

Number of weeks: 10-12

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

2 obligatory multiple choice tests.

The compulsory requirements must be approved before the student can take the exam. Approved compulsory requirements have no time limit.

Forms of Assessment

Take home exam, 10 hours

The exam will be given in the language in which the course is taught.

The exam can be submitted in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Grading Scale
Grading A-F
Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester

Re-take exams are arranged for students with valid absence according to § 5-5 of the Study Regulations at UiB. If a retake exam are arranged for students with valid absence, students with the following results can also register:

  • Interruption during the exam
  • Fail/Not passed

If you qualify for the retake exam and a retake exam is arranged for students with valid absence, you can register yourself in Studentweb after August 1.

Reading List
The reading list will be ready before 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education
Course Administrator
The Department of Comparative Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the programme.