Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 1 x 2 hour seminar per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   50%

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module students should be able to discuss the following:

- The institutions and processes involved in Soviet and Russian national security policymaking
- The uses of military and non-military instruments in Soviet and Russian national security policy, with reference to specific case studies
- The impact of Gorbachev and 'new political thinking' on Soviet national security policy
- Comparisons between Soviet and Russian national security policy

Brief description

This module provides the opportunity to apply conceptual frameworks regarding Soviet security to a number of case studies of policy decisions in the post-1945 period.


The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the major concepts used in analysing Soviet and Russian national security policy, and with the opportunity to apply those concepts to a series of case studies of policy decisions and outcomes.


The search for security was one of the chief motivations behind the actions of the Soviet Union in the international arena. Soviet security aims were a vital consideration for many countries during the Cold War, just as Russian security aims today have become the bases of debates about the nature and likely future behaviour of the Soviet Union's largest and most powerful successor state. This module focusses on questions such as how Moscow's leaders have defined security, how security policy decisions were and are made in the Kremlin, as well as on particular examples of security policies, such as the significance of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe for Soviet security, and the impact of Russian peacekeeping in the 'near abroad'.

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop and practice a wide range of transferable skills. In preparation for seminars students will develop their reading, notetaking and analytical skills. In seminars students will be asked to give brief, informal presentations to the rest of the group to develop their presentation skills. On some occasions these presentations will be done as a team, and so encouraging the development of teamwork skills. In addition seminar discussions will help students to develop their listening, explaining and debating skills. The essays which the students will write will encourage them to develop their independent research, writing and IT skills. The examination will test the students' analytical and writing skills under time constraints.

Reading List

General Text
Bluth, Christoph. The nuclear challenge :US-Russian strategic relations after the Cold War /Christoph Bluth. Primo search Malcolm, Neil (ed.) Russia and Europe : an end to confrontation? /edited by Neil Malcolm. Primo search MccGwire, Michael. Perestroika and Soviet national security /Michael MccGwire. Primo search

Nation, R. Craig. Black earth, red star :a history of Soviet security policy, 1917-1991 /R. Craig Nation. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7