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Diversity and Unity? Trajectories of Change in China and Russia


Dozent/inProf. Dr. Klaus Segbers
SemesterSommersemester 2017
RaumGarystr. 55, Hörsaal A

Do. 10:00 - 12:00

The question of designing and organizing transformation processes is both relevant and difficult to answer. When examining political and economic transformations, it is not always clear why this or that concept, path and implementation strategy have been selected, and why performances often differ. Different and changing domestic and external environments and contexts add salience to the problem of identifying key transformative variables.


The course will be about different transformation trajectories in China and Russia, respectively. We will look primarily at the timeframe 1985-2015.


The question of how and why there are different ways of transformation, and also partly different outcomes, is politically a central one. While for a number of years differences of reform outcomes dominated in analytical discourse (China, especially, did not collapse, as opposed to the Soviet Union), it now seems that both countries and societies are developing with similar political and economic institutions and outlooks – though differences remain. Another angle of interest is the skepticism towards democracy and to observing global rules. This is related to the question whether the recently rising wave of populism is driving politics in these two countries.

One of the aims of this course is to show that these differences are not so much due to individual preferences of politicians and decision makers. Rather, the contexts for acting were partly different during the last 30 years of accelerated change. However, since the onset of the new millennium, these context variables may have become more similar. Still, an often assumed alliance between both countries’ leaderships remains highly unlikely.


As a theoretical tool, institutional change will guide the course. This lecture uses the E-learning platform Blackboard. Please register under: http://lms.fu-berlin.de . The password will be given during the first lecture. Additionally, please also register under here .


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