Russia’s Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy

Olga l. Granovskaya is a professor at Far Eastern Federal University. She got Doctorate Degree in History of Philosophy at Moscow State Pedagogical University. Dr. Granovskaya has carried out broad-range studies, examining political theory, theory of international relations, political sociology, political anthropology and psychology, political philosophy, multiculturalism, rationality, philosophy of science and history of ideas. The research findings are presented in numerous research studies (two monographs and about one hundred journal articles) published both in Russia and abroad.

Her primary research interests lie in concept analysis of the theory of international relations and of liberal thought and discourse. Her current work focuses on the post-ideological, especially post-liberal, context and related issues, such as the problem of rationality and identity. Her latest studies on Russian-Taiwanese relations, balance of power in the region and cross-cultural research of the Russian immigrants’ thought were awarded grants from Russian Foundation of Fundamental Scientific Research.

Artyom Lukin is Deputy Director for Research at the School of Regional and International Studies, Far Eastern Federal University (Vladivostok, Russia) and is also Professor of International Politics there. Artyom Lukin is an expert of Russian International Affairs Council. Lukin earned his PhD in Political Science from Far Eastern State University in 2002. Apart from academic career, he worked as a public relations officer in the Vladivostok City Government (1998-2002) and at the Russian Far East's largest energy utility company Dalenergo (2002-2007). Lukin has authored multiple chapters, papers and commentaries, in Russian and English, on Asia-Pacific international politics and Russia's engagement with Asia. His latest book (co-authored with Rens Lee) is Russia's Far East: New Dynamics in Asia Pacific and Beyond (Lynne Rienner, 2015). Artyom Lukin's main research interests are security and international political economy in the Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asia; Russian foreign policy; Russia’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific; social, political and economic processes in the Russian Far East. He has been involved in numerous research projects, both in Russia and abroad. Artyom Lukin is a regular commentator for Russian and international news media. He tweets (in English) at

Module Outline

This course, developed by the FEFU School of International and Regional Studies, offers a series of lectures and seminars on Russian domestic politics and foreign policies, with an emphasis on their Eurasian dimensions.

The main purpose of this course is to provide the students with an in-depth overview of contemporary Russian political system and Russia’s relations with Asia-Pacific countries. It consists of two parts. The first one examines Russian political institutions, processes, political culture, and history. It pays special attention to the concept of Eurasianism and how it manifests itself in contemporary Russia. The second part focuses on Russia’s foreign policy strategy, concentrating on Russia’s geopolitical and geo-economic shift to Asia. It begins with analyzing Northeast Asia as a crucial region of world politics which includes Russia. It proceeds to examine Russia’s relations with the key Northeast Asian players – China, Japan, the two Koreas, and the United States. Finally, the course provides understanding of the Russian Far East, or “Pacific Russia.”

The entire course is meant to be a highly interactional endeavor where the professors and the students are engaged in intensive dialogue and discussion.

Module Content

Course 1 (Taught by Dr. Granovskaya)

Introduction: What is Russia? Territory, people and Imperial Russia’s legacies

Communist political systems. Political system of the Soviet Union.

Political system of post-Soviet Russia, 1991-1999

Putin’s Russia: political system and political leadership

Continuity and change in Russian politics

The ideology and institutions of contemporary Russia

“Managing democracy”: the political mechanisms of hybrid regimes

Political system and civil society of Russia: problems and mechanisms of correlation

Political economy of modern Russia

Civil – military relations in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation

The threat of extremism and terrorism in Russia

Eurasianism: past and present


Course 2 (taught by Dr. Lukin)

Northeast Asia as an international-political region

Demographic factors of international politics in Northeast Asia

Nuclear weapons and strategic stability in Northeast Asia

The North Korea crisis and Russia’s policies toward the Korean Peninsula

The history of Sino-Russian relations

Contemporary Russia-China relations

Russo-Japanese relations

Russia-US relations and their Asia-Pacific dimension

The Russian Far East: identity, politics, economics, relations with Asia-Pacific neighbors.