85236 - HISTORY OF SOVIET UNION'S AND RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY

Scheda insegnamento

Anno Accademico 2017/2018

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

During classes students are expected to acquire a strong comparative methodology in order to approach the most relevant events of the foreign policy of Russia and Soviet Union from 1917 to nowadays. Students are particularly expected to develop an in-depth knowledge and a critical overview of a set of crucial documents in Russian/Soviet diplomacy that will be analysed during the lectures.

Programma/Contenuti

The course focuses on foreign policy of the Soviet Union and Russia during the 20th century. Still, particularly in the Soviet-Russian case, foreign policy cannot be studied without referring to the main dynamics of domestic policy as well. As a result, the course will start from the Lenin’s strategies aimed at ending WW1 and the international intervention against the Bolshevik revolution in order to explore their impact in Europe and Asia at the beginning of the 20s. Then, the course will discuss the following domestic and international events that influenced particularly the following geopolitical contexts: a) neighbouring countries like Germany and Poland; b) the building of a policy for expanding the revolution through the Comintern; c) the building of the besieged fortress. After understanding the changes imposed by Stalin at the end of the 20s the course will focus on the attempt at supporting a collective security, the relations with nazism and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the reshaping of the relations with the UK and the USA and the war diplomacy including the Yalta agreements.

After WW2, the course will concentrate on the double Soviet policy towards the newly established Camp (from the limitations to sovereignty to the Helsinki accords and the role of the dissent) and the broader international context (from the confrontation with the USA to the hostilities with China and the attempts to expand in Africa). Students will be invited to consider that events in the light of the changes represented by the policy and the personalities of Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbačëv. In the end, the course will focus on the foreign policy of Gorbačëv, on the reasons that led to the creation of a CIS and on the main aspects of Russian foreign policy during Yeltsin and Putin.

list of documents:

Introduction. Studying the foreign policy of Russia and Soviet Union

  1. Decree on Peace, Oct. 26 [Nov. 8], 1917.
  2. The debate on the Brest-Litovsk treaty, March 7, 1918
  3. The Treaty of Rapallo, Apr. 16, 1922
  1. Conditions to the admission to the Comintern, Aug. 1920
  2. + 5.1 Documents on the Chinese Communist Party 1922-1926
  3. From the Thesis of the 6th congress of the Comintern, Aug. 19, 1928
  4. Resolution of the 7th Congress of the Comintern, Aug. 1935
  1. Litvinov, Speech at the League of Nation on Collective Security (Excerpts), Sept. 14, 1935
  2. Diaz’ report to the CC of the CP of Spain (Excerpts), March 5, 1937
  3. Memorandum of a Conversation between Ribbentrop, Stalin and Molotov, Aug. 23, 1939
  4. Molotov, The Meaning of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact (Excerpts), Aug. 31, 1939
  1. Stalin’s speech on the Patriotic War (Excerpts), Nov. 6, 1941.
  2. The Percentages Agreement, Oct. 9, 1944
  3. Stalin’s speech on USSR war aims, Nov. 6, 1944
  1. Agreement on the Soviet Entry into the War against Japan, Feb. 11, 1945
  2. Report of the Crimea Conference (Yalta), Feb. 11, 1945
  3. Zdanov, The Two Camps Policy, September 1947
  1. Berlin Blockade: a Soviet Note to the US Government, July 14, 1948
  2. The Tito-Stalin correspondence, March-June 1948
  1. Mao on the Communist victory in China, July, 1949
  2. Record of Conversation between Stalin and Mao, Dec. 16, 1949 and Jan. 22, 1950
  3. Kim il Sung pleads for Soviet support, January 1950
  4. Mao informs Stalin of China’s decision to enter the Korean War, Dec. 1950
  1. Stalin on the inevitability of war, 1952
  2. The Warsaw Pact, May 14, 1955
  3. Khruschev’s speech on arrival at Belgrade (Excerpts), May 26, 1955
  1. Khruschev’s report to the 20th congress CPSU (Excerpts), Feb. 1956
  2. Khruschev’s secret speech, Feb. 25, 1956
  3. Declaration of the Communist Conference in Moscow (Excerpts), Nov. 1957
  1. Khruschev’s speech upon his return from the US (Excerpts), Sept. 28, 1959
  2. Warsaw Pact Communiqué and East German Decree on the Wall, Aug. 13, 1961.
  1. + 35.1 Khruschev’s and Kennedy’s correspondence on the Missiles crisis, Oct. 26-28, 1962
  2. The Sino-Soviet Schism: the Chinese and the soviet views, June-July, 1963
  1. The Brezhnev doctrine in his speech, Nov. 12, 1968
  2. The Helsinki Accords, Aug. 1, 1975
  3. Brezhnev’s statement on no first use, June 16, 1982
  1. Gorbačëv’s Memorandum on socialist countries, Jun. 26, 1986
  2. CPSU Memorandum on socialist countries (Excerpts), Feb. 1989
  3. Gorbačëv: A common European Home (Excerpts), July 6, 1989
  1. The “Belovezhskiie Agreements” and the formation of the CIS, Dec. 8, 1991
  2. Gorbačëv: We opened ourselves to the World, Dec. 25, 1991.
  1. Andrei Kozyrev, Strategy for Partnership, 1994.
  2. Russia and the Near Abroad, Jan. 12, 1994
  1. Vladimir Putin, Russia at the Turn of the Millennium, Dec. 30, 1999.
  2. National Security Concept of the Russian Federation, January 10, 2000.
  1. New Neighbours - Common neighbours, 3 dec. 2004
  2. Vladislav Surkov’s Secret Speech: How Russia Should Fight International Conspiracies, 11 lug. 2005.
  1. Putin’s speech at the Munich Conference 2007

Russian National Security Strategy, December 2015

  1. Putin’s speech at S. Petersburg on Eurasian Union, 2014

Conclusion: Current policies and events

Testi/Bibliografia

Compulsory readings:

1. Ronald Grigor Suny, The Soviet Experiment. Russia, the USSR and the Successor States, Oxford U. Press, New York, 1998.

2. Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Russia and the World 1917-1991, Arnold, London, 1998.

3. Andrei Tsygankov, Russia's Foreign Policy. Change and Continuity in National Identity, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, 2013.

4. Stefano Bianchini, USSR and Soviet Bloc between Ideology and Realpolitik (1947-1958), IN: Antonio Varsori (ed.), Europe 1945-1990s. The End of an Era?, MacMillan, London, 1995, pp. 117-140

AND

Nicolai N. Petro, Russian Foreign Policy 2000-2010. From Nation State to Global Risk Sharing, in: PECOB’s Series 2011 at http://www.pecob.eu/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/EN/IDPagina/3132.

Moreover students must have a sound knowledge of approximately 50 documents included in the following reading list

Documents on USSR and Russia in the world politics 1917-2005 (Students will receive the list of the documents during classes from the professor).

Students are also invited to refer to the following Atlas:

Martin Gilbert, Atlas of Russian History, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993

or

The Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia, Penguin Books, London, 1995.

Optional readings (one of the following is to be additionally select by those students from other programme than MIREES, who might not attend lectures):

  1. Richard Sakwa, Putin. Russia's Choice, Routledge, London, 2008.
  2. Bobo Lo, Russia and the New World Disorder, Chatam House, London, 2015.
  3. Marlène Laruelle (ed.), Russian Nationalism and the National Reassertion of Russia, Routledge, Abingdon, 2010.
  4. Robert Legvold (ed.), Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century and the Shadow of the Past, Columbia University Press, New York, 2007.
  5. Dmitri Trenin, The End of Eurasia. Russia on the Borders between Geopolitics and Globalization, Carnegie End. for International Peace, Washington D.C., 2005.
  6. Gabriel Gorodetsky (a cura di), Russia between East and West. Russian Foreign Policy at the Threshold of the 21st Century, Frank Cass, London, 2003.
  7. Paul Kolstoe, Russians in the Former Soviet Republics, Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington, 1995.
  8. Jeff Chinn and Robert Kaiser, Russians as the New Minority. Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Soviet Successor States, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1996.
  9. Jakub M. Godzimirski, New and Old Actors in Russian Foreign Policy, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo, 2000.

Metodi didattici

Methodologically, classes are organized interactively. Regular lessons include discussions on the topic of the day and students' acquisition of transversal skills. In particular, students are expected to organize themselves in team-works and make oral presentations of the selected documents with the support of readings, according to the instructions received during classes. Social responsibility toward classmates, ability in addressing the audience, direct focus on the key issues and strictly respect of deadlines are among crucial components of the lessons guided by the Professor. His lesson explanations will help students to understand the historical context and receive additional interpretative inputs aimed to increase their critical thinking.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Oral exam. Students are expected to analyze and discuss in details the topics that have been developed during classes with appropriate references to the sources offered by the readings. The ability of comparing theoretical approaches and policies implementation will be highly appreciated.

Please note: Students from other Italian programs or Exchange students are requested to follow MIREES rules: therefore, in order to take the exam, they MUST have attended at least 70% of lectures.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

PowerPoint and overhead projector

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Stefano Bianchini