Russia’s Eternal Enigmas: A Unique and Incomparable Country

Discovering Eastern Europe

Sergei Medvedev
Sergei Medvedev


Sergei Medvedev is Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow Russia. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Center for Security Studies in Germany, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (Helsinki), the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Ebenhausen), the Istituto Affari Internazionali (Rome) and the Institute of Europe (Moscow). Sergei has taught courses on Russian/Soviet and security studies throughout Europe and the USA and has published numerous books and articles on his fields of scholarly interest, most notably on post- Soviet studies, European security, political geography, cultural anthropology and semiotics.

Module Summary:

The post-Soviet space and Russia in particular has long been one of the most preferred topics in the field of Area Studies. At its core is the assumption that Soviet and post-Soviet Russia is a unique country that cannot be understood and explained in comparison with other countries. This Module provides you with basic and advanced knowledge in this context and puts focus on different areas such as Tsarist and Soviet legacies, the role of state and individual persons in Russia, the new Russian foreign policy etc.

Educational Goals:

  • You will be familiarized with the social and political situation in Soviet as well as post-Soviet Russia and other topics within the broad field of ‘Russia — Eternal Enigma?’
  • You will train to perform mental transfers and to analyze various problematic situations.
  • You will be provided with practical skills concerning active participation in controversial discussions, presenting and supporting your own arguments and elaborating a well-structured research paper.


  • Creating a case study on an event or episode in the recent Russian history and writing a research proposal which is supposed to create an opportunity for you to plan your term paper and to receive some comments before you start writing.
  • Preparing the final research paper to any topic within the broad field of ‘Russia—Eternal Enigma?’ including comparisons with other countries. The basis of your term paper should be your research proposal.

Key Facts:

  • 8 ECTS
  • 12 weeks
  • 1.195 Euro
  • Optional On-site Workshop in October each year

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