Author: Katri Pynnöniemi

Russian Security politics

The Russian Security Politics course offers overview of Russian strategic thinking and its implications for world politics

The course is divided into three parts: history, concepts, implications.

The first part of the course provides an overview on historical roots of Russia’s self-perception of country’s role in world politics and world history. In this section we will also discuss theoretical approaches to study meaning of culture and identity in the formation of foreign and security policy.

The second part discusses key concepts of foreign and military politics, such as threat perceptions, strategy and military might. The lecture on threat perceptions will introduce how international relations and political psychology have studied formation of threat perceptions on elite and mass levels. The lecture on strategy will provide overview of Russian theories of military art and current military policy. This is followed by a discussion on representation of status and identity in Russian current security strategies.

In the third part, we will apply theoretical concepts and analytical frameworks to discuss how assumptions on security, threat perceptions and national interests evolve and influence Russia’s policies in the context of international and regional conflicts.

Enrol
14.2.2019 at 09:00 - 11.3.2019 at 23:59
Moodle
Log in to view the registration key for Moodle.

Timetable

Section I: Historical roots of Russian strategic thinking

MA 11.3. 1. Introduction to course
TO 14.3. 2. Theory of strategic culture: the role of belief systems in security policies
MA 18.3. 3. Strategic planning: policies and decision-making

Section II: Concepts explaining security dilemmas and national interests
TO 21.3. 4. Threat perceptions and enemy images (Elina Sinkkonen, FIIA)
MA 25.3. 5. Strategy and military power (Petteri Lalu, MPKK)
TO 28.3. 6. Status and identity

Section III Russia and contemporary conflicts
MA 1.4. 7. Conflicts in the neighbourhood: Ukraine (Arseniy Svynarenko)
TO 4.4. 8. Information warfare: Russian concepts and practices
MA 8.4. 9. Foreign policy
TO 11.4. 10. Global security and Russia

DateTimeLocation
Mon 11.3.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 14.3.2019
12:15 - 13:45
Mon 18.3.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 21.3.2019
12:15 - 13:45
Mon 25.3.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 28.3.2019
12:15 - 13:45
Mon 1.4.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 4.4.2019
12:15 - 13:45
Mon 8.4.2019
10:15 - 11:45
Thu 11.4.2019
12:15 - 13:45

Material

Pre-course assignment1 (DL 14.3.)

Wolfers, Arnold (1952) ”National security as an ambiguous Symbol”.

Read the article and write a short memo (1-2 pages) where you discuss how in your opinion Wolfer’s insights fit (or are unfit) to explain contemporary Russian security policy. For example: what you find particularly useful in this article? In which areas present-day literature / understanding can provide better guidance for the analysis?

Read online: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0032-3195%28195212%2967%3A4%3C481%3A%22...
Pdf at course site at Moodle (opens 11.3.).

Conduct of the course

The course is designed to facilitate critical thinking and abilities to work in a group.

Obligatory participation in the contact lectures.

Students are required to read assigned material (app. 10-15 pages) before the course (task 1) and write a short essay (max 500 words). During the course students will have 5 similar assignments (task 2-6). The writing of the abstract of the final essay is the last task (7). The reading list for the course includes essential readings in the sphere of Russian security policy. The list can be used also in writing the final essay and in future studies. Students will choose the essay theme by the middle of the course and present their main argument in the final lecture (task7). The essay should have 10-15 pages.

Description

Master's level students

The course is divided into three parts: history, concepts, implications.

The first part of the course provides an overview on historical roots of Russia’s self-perception of country’s role in world politics and world history. In this section we will also discuss theoretical approaches to study meaning of culture and identity in the formation of foreign and security policy.

The second part discusses key concepts of foreign and military politics, such as threat perceptions, strategy and military might. The lecture on threat perceptions will introduce how international relations and political psychology have studied formation of threat perceptions on elite and mass levels. The lecture on strategy will provide overview of Russian theories of military art and current military policy. This is followed by a discussion on representation of status and identity in Russian current security strategies.

In the third part, we will apply theoretical concepts and analytical frameworks to discuss how assumptions on security, threat perceptions and national interests evolve and influence Russia’s policies in the context of international and regional conflicts.

Section I: Historical roots of Russian strategic thinking

MA 11.3. 1. Introduction to course

TO 14.3. 2. Russian idea: explaining Russia’s role in the world

MA 18.3. 3. Theory of strategic culture: the role of belief systems in security policies

Section II: Concepts explaining security dilemmas and national interests

TO 21.3. 4. Threat perceptions and enemy images (Elina Sinkkonen, FIIA)

MA 25.3. 5. Strategy and military power (Petteri Lalu, MPKK)

TO 28.3. 6. Status and identity

Section III Russia and contemporary conflicts

MA 1.4. 7. Conflicts in the neighbourhood: Ukraine (Arseniy Svynarenko)

TO 4.4. 8. Information warfare: Russian concepts and practices

MA 8.4. 9. Foreign policy

TO 11.4. 10. Global security and Russia

Opintojaksossa perehdytään historiallisen politiikantutkimuksen ajankohtaisiin tutkimuskeskusteluihin ja niissä esillä oleviin tutkimuskysymyksiin ja -tuloksiin. Opetuksessa näitä voidaan käsitellä laaja-alaisesti ja keskittymällä syvällisesti johonkin tärkeään ajankohtaiseen tutkimusteemaan.

The course is designed to facilitate critical thinking and abilities to work in a group. Presence in the lectures is obligatory.

Students are required to read assigned material (app. 10-15 pages) before the course (task 1) and write a short essay (max 500 words). During the course students will have five other assignments (task 2-6). An abstract of an essay is the last assignment (Task7) for the course.

The reading list for the course includes essential readings in the sphere of Russian security policy. The list can be used also in writing the final essay and in the future studies. It is recommended that students will read 2-3 articles / short texts from the reading list. Students will choose the essay theme by the middle of the course and return the essay (app 10-15 pages) by April 25.

The course is intended primarily for the master’s level students but is open for other levels if there is space.

Pre-course assignment1 (DL 14.3.2019)

Wolfers, Arnold (1952) ”National security as an ambiguous Symbol”. Read the article and write a short memo (1-2 pages) where you discuss how in your opinion Wolfer’s insights fit (or are unfit) to explain contemporary Russian security policy. For example: what you find particularly useful in this article? In which areas present-day literature / understanding can provide better guidance for the analysis?

Read online: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0032-3195%28195212%2967%3A4%3C481%3A%22SAAAS%3E2.0.CO%3B2-R

Pdf at course site at Moodle.

Assistant professor, Katri Pynnöniemi