Russian Reform & Reformers
The history of the 18th century is marked by a set of reforms undertaken by Catherine the Second. A special place in the course is reserved for analyses of the reforms aimed at the abolition of serfdom – starting with the first timid attempts to “modernize” it up to the decision for complete abolition. Given the importance of the “peasant issue” in Russia, Stolipin’s reforms, which proved to be way ahead of their time, are of great interest and importance. The Soviet epoch is to be explored through analysis of Stalin’s modernization, Khrushchev’s reforms and various attempts to make the Soviet economy more efficient in the 1960’s. The closing theme of the course is the analysis of the modern attempts to modernize Russia. Together with reforms themselves the course is focused on the most prominent Russian reformers as well as the feedback on their policy coming from the grass-roots level.