12017 The National Question in the USSR/Russia 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Democracy Studies / History, Education and Citizenship

Prerequisites: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; one of the following: Democracy and Democratization, Selected Problems in the History of Western Democracies, Education Policy: Education for Democracy in Democratic Societies, Democracy and Mass Communication,2 Selected Topics in Public Administration; and exemption from bibliographic assignments on computer searches in the “Alef” catalog and databases.

The course is based on a reader edited by Ya’akov Roi.

The course deals with the development of Soviet policy pertaining to nationalities within the Soviet Union and the many peoples living there. It also addresses various aspects of the nationality question and aspects of relations of the central government with the periphery, of Moscow with the Soviet republics and with other areas inhabited by minority populations. The course describes the government’s attempts to solve the problem both on the theoretical and the practical level; the gaps between the declarative level and the policy actually implemented, vacillation between concessions and inflexibility, and finally the complete failure as the tensions grew and surfaced.

Topics: Introduction – what is “nation” and “nationality”?; Marxist-Leninist ideology and the nationality question; The federal structure of the Soviet Union; The nationality policy of the Soviet regime in practice; The economic, demographic and ecological aspects of the nationality question; The emergence and development of opposition groups among the nationalities; The development of nationalistic trends, factions and movements in the Soviet Union; The contribution of the nationality question to the breakup of the Soviet Union; The nationalities question in the Russian Federation after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

1Students who took The Problem of Nationalities in the Soviet Union 1917-1991 (10504) as part of their undergraduate studies may not take this course.

Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.

2or Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005), for students who took it as a required course in the Culture specialization before Spring 2010.