Russia & CIS Countries '91-'10
The Commonwealth of Independent States, a group of newly independent states brought into being by the collapse of the Soviet Union, has an extremely significant influence not only on domestic but also on foreign policy of Russia. At the same time, Russia is their major neighbor holding the key to their own development and success. Today CIS countries are getting deeper and deeper plunged into the competition among major global actors: Russia, the USA, the EU, Turkey and China are all seeking for their own ways to secure influence in these states. This competition for influence is a drastic change of the framework of the whole system of world politics as well as the concept of global and regional leadership. The system is characterized by rising tension and contradictions among the major blocks and alliances. The course looks at not only various political and economic issues, but also major cultural aspects and patterns of communication.