Module Identifier IPM3230  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Jennifer G Mathers  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Jennifer G Mathers  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   1 x 2 hour seminar per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Exam3 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 Lists

** General Text
Bluth, Christoph. The nuclear challenge :US-Russian strategic relations after the Cold War /Christoph Bluth. 1855218968
Malcolm, Neil (ed.) Russia and Europe : an end to confrontation? /edited by Neil Malcolm. 1855671611
MccGwire, Michael. Perestroika and Soviet national security /Michael MccGwire. 0815755538
Nation, R. Craig. Black earth, red star :a history of Soviet security policy, 1917-1991 /R. Craig Nation. 0801480078


This module is at CQFW Level 7