Economy and foreign policy of Eastern European countries

  • Course description

    The overall objective of the module is to familiarize the students with the economies and the foreign policies of the Eastern European countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan). This region has particularly focused international attention since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war in Spring 2014, however the needs of humanitarian action are much larger (both in time and space). For last thirty years, majority of the countries in the region have been touched by humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made. Such situation has been at least partially due to the weakness of their economies and ambivalences of their foreign policies. Since the end of the communist system, the Eastern European countries have been unable to enter the path of modernization, like their Central European neighbours, opting for an extensive development (Russia) or a “no reform” survival strategy (Ukraine). Due to internal and external factors, they have not established either solid relations with the West, which might have supported their transformation. In consequence the Eastern European countries are largely unable to effectively face humanitarian challenges.
  • Main themes

    The notion and the borders of Eastern Europe
    Foreign policy and economy of Russia
    Foreign policy and economy of Ukraine
    Foreign policy and economy of Belarus
    Foreign policy and economy of Moldova
    Foreign policy and economy of South Caucasus states
  • Learning outcomes

    In conformity with the learning outcomes set out by the NOHA network, students should achieve the following learning outcomes by the end of this module student:

    1. Has a good understanding of economies and foreign policies of the Eastern European countries and their influences on humanitarian action issues.
    2. Has a critical understanding of the social, legal and security environment in the conflicts in Eastern Europe.
    3. Has a thorough knowledge of the operational processes and changes in political, military, economic and social structures and institutions in Eastern Europe; has a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of political and economic decision-making in this region at the nation state level and on the international scale.
    1. Has specialised skills to conceptualise, interpret and critically analyse complex humanitarian crises in Eastern Europe on the basis of a variety of sources, generating new interdisciplinary expertise to help solve complex humanitarian problems.
    2. Has specialised problem-solving skills to promote the best and safest response in humanitarian emergency contexts in Eastern Europe in terms of political, economic and social implications and foreseeable harm by humanitarian interventions.
    3. Has specialised problem-solving skills combining interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the range of needs and capabilities of crisis-affected people in Eastern Europe toward relevant, evidence-based solutions for effective response.

    Social competences:
    1. Has studied in depth the political and economic situation in Eastern Europe, and conducted a research project largely self-directed.
    2. Learns from past experiences of the Eastern European countries, identifies opportunities to overcome humanitarian dilemmas and proposes new work methods for increased efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder accountability in complex and unpredictable humanitarian environments.
  • Teaching and learning methodology

    The module is a lecture-based module supplemented with meetings with experts, tutorials and directed study.
  • Assessment methods and criteria

    Term paper: 50%
    Written exam: 50%

    < 40%: 2
    40 – 50%: 3
    50 – 60%: 3,5
    60 – 70%: 4
    70 – 80%: 4,5
    80 – 90%: 5
    90 – 100%: 5!
  • Required reading

    Abdelal R., National Purpose in the World Economy: Post-Soviet States in Comparative Perspective, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 2005 (from 4 USD)
    Åslund A., How Russia Became a Market Economy, Brookings Institution Press, Washington, 1995 (from 4 USD)
    Aslund A., Ukraine: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington 2015 (from 15 USD)
    Auty R., Soysa I. (de), Energy, Wealth and Governance in the Caucasus and Central Asia: Lessons not learned, Routledge, Abingdon 2006 (from 43 USD)
    Ayoob M., Ismayilov M., Identity and Politics in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Routledge, Abingdon 2015 (from 89 USD)
    Balmaceda M.M., The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania Between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure, University of Toronto Press, Toronto 2013 (from 31 USD)
    Beacháin D.Ó, A. Polese (eds.), The Colour Revolutions in the Former Soviet Republics. Successes and Failures, Routledge, London – New York 2010 (from 37 USD)
    Feklyunina V., White S., The International Economic Crisis and the Post-Soviet States, Routledge, Abingdon 2014 (from 116 USD)
    Hamilton D., Mangott G. (eds.), The New Eastern Europe: Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Center for Transatlantic Relations – Austrian Institute for International Affairs, Washington – Vienna 2007 (from 22,82 USD)
    Jafarova E., Conflict Resolution in South Caucasus: Challenges to International Efforts, Lexington Books, Lanham 2014 (from 85 USD)
    Katchanovski I., Cleft Countries: Regional Political Divisions and Cultures in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Moldova, Ibidem-Verlag, Stuttgart 2006 (from 39 USD)
    Marples D., Belarus: A Denationalized Nation, Routledge, Abingdon 2013 (from 126 USD)
    Menon R, Rumer E.B., Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post--Cold War Order, MIT Press, Cambridge 2015 (from 18,21 USD)
    Munteanu I.  (et al.), Moldova on the Way to Democracy and Stability, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Bucureşti – Chişinău 2005
    Pelnēns G. (ed.), The “Humanitarian Dimension” of Russian Foreign Policy Toward Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic States, Centre for East European Policy Studies, Riga 2010
    Robinson N., The Political Economy of Russia, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham 2012 (from 22 USD)
    Hughes J., Sasse G. (eds.), Ethnicity and territory in the former Soviet Union: regions in conflict, Frank Cass, London – New York 2002 (from 42 USD)
    Starr S.F., Dawisha K., The International Politics of Eurasia: vol. 4: The Making of Foreign Policy in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, Routledge, Abingdon 1995 (from 47 USD)
    Starr S.F., Dawisha K., The International Politics of Eurasia: vol. 10: The International Dimension of Post-communist Transitions in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, Routledge, Abingdon 2015 (from 47 USD)
    White S., Feklyunina V., Identities and Foreign Policies in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus: The Other Europes, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke 2014 (from 73 USD)
    Wooden A.E., Stefes C.H., The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus: Enduring Legacies and Emerging Challenges, Routledge, Abingdon 2009 (from 73 USD)

    All the prices above had been taken from or They apply in most of the cases to new books; used may be cheaper.

Last updated: 3 October 2017

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