Kaarina Aitamurto

Course outline

Russia faces many global and domestic challenges related to its economic, political and social spheres. How does the Russian government address those challenges with its public policies? How does Russian government make and implement policy? What is the extent and nature of different societal actors and groups’ involvement in governance in Russia? This course is devoted to the issue of government policy-making and societal governance in Russia.

The first part of the course offers a brief comparative introduction to the policy processes generally (Lecture 1), and then moving on to consider a number of important policy approaches and policy areas in greater detail. These include securitization of policy, trade and industrial policies, and social policy (Lectures 2 – 5).

In the second part (lectures 6 – 9), the course introduces students to the state-society relations in Russia by emphasising the governance aspect in relation to civil society and religion. The course presents different theoretical models of civil society, welfare regimes and the governance of religion. In addition, the course gives an overview of the history, the main agents and institutions in Russian civil society and religion.

In addition to lectures the teaching of the course includes in-class discussions, home reading and exam.

Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

The delivery of the course consists of nine lectures, pre-class assignments, learning diary and exam. All lectures include 30 minutes of discussion. Delivery of the course is based on a variety of information tools and readings.

Learning goals

The student understands the concept of policy and can distinguish top-down, bottom-up and horizontal approaches. The student acquires the tools to evaluate how different policies are organized and implemented. The student knows example policy-making areas in Russia and is able to interpret policy-making in Russia from different perspectives independently. Additionally, the student becomes familiar with major global challenges that Russia faces in economic, political, and social spheres and understands how Russia seeks to respond, resist or adapt to these challenges with its public policies. The student is able to explain the central features of the state-society relationship in contemporary Russia and to differentiate and critically evaluate different theoretical approaches and their origins to civil society and religion. The student is able to illustrate how the discussed frameworks and concepts are applied to discussions in and about Russia.
The student acquires skills for critical scholarly thinking and argumentation through lectures.

Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale

The assessment is based on participation in lectures, pre-lecture assignments, learning diary and exam.
The top grade 5 relates to deep level of learning which requires an ability to provide theoretical and comprehensive answers, as well as critical thinking towards the course material. Grades 2-4 relate to relational level of learning. Grade 1 relates to multi-structural learning and is required to pass the course.

11.12.2018 at 09:00 - 17.1.2019 at 23:59
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Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Wed 16.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 18.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Wed 23.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 25.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Wed 30.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 1.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Wed 6.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 8.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Wed 13.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 15.2.2019
12:15 - 15:45


Compulsory for students in Russian Studies Master´s programme. Offered as optional for all students of the University of Helsinki.

Orientation to Russian Studies and Methods and Theories for students in Russian Studies Master´s programme.

Student recognizes the major approaches on the topic and the origins of the chosen policies in the context of Russia. Student is able to define the key concepts and illustrate how those are typically applied in the resilience discussion. Student is able to demonstrate the application of some global ideas in the Russian context. Student understands multi-/interdisciplinary approach in practice and is able to recognize different disciplinary approaches in the analysis of the topic.

First year/period III.

This course unfolds the “how?” questions, i.e. how Russia internally and in cross-border and transnational multi-institutional contexts is trying to maintain its resilience in the raptide of both the normative and fluid global realities, but also what forms of resistance the chosen policies produce both inside and outside Russia.

List of required literature can be given in advance. Literature and other materials can be delivered in the course.

The course will be based on lectures and/or group work. The group work can be organised on the basis of problem-based learning.

The assessment of the course is based on participation and/or producing essay(s) and/or learning diary and/or group works. The grading of the course is 0-5.

Contact teaching. Compulsory attendance during the entire course.