PSC289 Hale
Fall 2010
PSC289-11 (72917) Comparative Post-Soviet Politics
Mondays 5:10-7:00 pm in Monroe B33
Prof. Henry E. Hale, [email protected]; 994-4810; 1957 E St., 412J; Office hrs: Tue.2-3:30 or by apt.
Comparative Politics is the study of vital issues that are bigger than any one country and that are thus best
understood by comparing the experiences of many countries. In this course, students will learn how the
comparative method illuminates issues vital to both theory and policymaking on post-Soviet countries,
including democratization, nationalism, revolutions, state collapse, ethnic conflict, economic growth, the
“natural resource curse,” and corruption. Special attention will be given to recent works that combine a
deep knowledge of local language, history, and culture with a sophisticated methodology. Students
lacking basic familiarity with the region’s recent history are advised to read a textbook prior to the course.
Student Learning Objectives: To gain advanced insight into big issues facing post-Soviet countries; to
understand the strengths and weaknesses of the comparative method in this endeavor; to know the most
important scholarly works and debates on these issues in the former USSR; to apply the comparative
method of “paired comparison” effectively to answer an important big issue relevant to more than one
country; to contribute original insights to key debates; to effectively engage these issues in both oral and
written work. Students will be assessed on these objectives through (a) class participation and (b) an
individual research project. More specifically:
Participation: 30% of the grade. This means coming prepared to every session and playing an active,
constructive role in discussions of assigned material. The instructor will usually give students a list of
questions on each week’s readings one week in advance. Everyone is expected at a minimum to have
something to say in answer to each of these questions and the instructor will usually call on people to lead
off the discussions of these questions. Students are also encouraged to raise their own points or issues.
Research Project: 70% of the grade. Students will write a research paper that: (a) addresses an
important “big” question that is relevant to many countries (like the questions that structure this syllabus);
(b) employs a “paired comparison” as discussed by the Tarrow reading (week 6) to answer that question
in an effective way; and (c) is based on original research. Topics must be approved in advance by the
professor. The paper should be roughly 20-30 pages long (double-spaced, 12-point font). The project is
broken up into components:
 Paper proposal: A 1-page (single-spaced, 12-point font) proposal that: (1) clearly states a central
“big” question that is relevant to multiple countries; (2) proposes a specific “paired comparison” of
two post-Soviet countries that is capable of answering the central question; (3) explains how this
comparison will shed light on the central question by explicitly discussing and citing the Tarrow
reading on paired comparisons assigned for discussion on Oct. 4; (4) attaches a starting bibliography
(not counted in the page limit). Due: Saturday, Oct. 30, 5 pm, by email. 10% of course grade.
 Literature critique: A 5-10-page essay that makes an analytical argument that existing literature
does not adequately answer the central “big” question that is the focus of the student’s research paper.
This essay should consider both (a) literature that addresses the central question by analyzing postSoviet countries; and (b) literature that addresses the central question by analyzing any other
countries where the question is pertinent. The idea is that by identifying the inadequacies or gaps in
work that has already been done, you can (i) be confident that you are not “reinventing the wheel”
and (ii) identify a way that you can make an original contribution to how we should be answering the
central question. Due by 5 pm on Nov. 15, by email. 10% of course grade.
 Presentation: Students will present preliminary findings from their research to the class to obtain
feedback from other students. The presentation should: (a) be polished (PowerPoint recommended);
(b) report substantial (if not fully complete) empirical findings from research; and (c) clearly present
PSC289 Hale
Fall 2010
an argument that answers the central research question of the paper. Due: day of presentation
(assigned by professor). 10% of course grade.
Rough draft: Optional, but very strongly recommended for a top grade. The professor will provide
feedback on a “first come, first served” basis and students are encouraged to submit their rough drafts
as early as possible. Students submitting rough drafts after the date of their presentation may not
receive feedback in time or in enough depth to help them with their final draft, though the professor
will do his best given time constraints and the number of prior submissions.
Final paper: Due by 5 pm on Thursday, Dec. 16, by email. 40% of course grade.
Readings. All readings will be available electronically through Blackboard or at a location noted in the
syllabus except for the following books, which can be purchased at the GW Bookstore or be found on
reserve in Gelman Library:
 Georgi Derluguian, Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus (Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 2005).
 M. Steven Fish, Democracy Derailed in Russia : The Failure of Open Politics (NY: Cambridge
University Press, 2005).
 Rogers Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed (NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
 Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold
War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
 Pauline Jones Luong and Erika Weinthal, Oil Is Not a Curse: Ownership Structure and Institutions in
Soviet Successor States (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Note: Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should
contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. S/he should also contact the Disability Support
Services office at (202) 994-8250 in the Marvin Center, Suite 242, to establish eligibility and to
coordinate reasonable accommodations. Additional information is at
(To help you budget time, figures in brackets (e.g., “[32]”) report the number of pages in each reading.)
1. Aug. 30. Introduction. [32]
 Philip E. Tetlock, “Theory-Driven Reasoning About Plausible Pasts and Probable Futures in
World Politics: Are We…” American Journal of Political Science, April 1999, v.43, no.2,
pp.335-66. [32]
2. Sep. 6. Labor Day - No Class
3. Sep. 13. What Causes Nationalism? [149 + Beissinger **]
 Rogers Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed (NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996), Introduction
and Part I. [78]
 Daniel Treisman, “Russia’s Ethnic Revival,” World Politics, 1997, pp.212-49. [38]
 Mark R. Beissinger, Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2002). (Available for free in GW’s ebrary: , accessible only from a university computer or
account). SELECTION **
 Keith Darden and Anna Grzymala-Busse, “The Great Divide: Literacy, Nationalism, and the
Communist Collapse,” World Politics, v.59, no.1, October 2006, pp.83-115. [33]
PSC289 Hale
Fall 2010
Recommended but not required:
Dmitry Gorenburg, “Regional Separatism in Russia: Ethnic Mobilization or Power Grab?” Europe-Asia Studies, v.51,
no.2, 1999, pp.245-74. [30]
Ronald Suny, The Revenge of the Past (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993).
Yuri Slezkine, “How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism,” Slavic Review, v.53, no.2, Summer 1994,
pp.414-452. [39]
4. Sep. 20. What Are the Sources of Political Corruption? [203]
 Daniel Treisman, “The Causes of Corruption: A Cross-National Study,” Journal of Public
Economics, v.76, no.3, June 2000, pp.399-457. [59]
 Georgi Derluguian, Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 2005), pp.1-20, 29-64, 72-77, 84-165. [144]
Recommended but not required:
Vadim Volkov, Violent Entrepreneurs (Ithaca, NY: Cornell U. Press, 2002). [191]
Henry Hale, Great Expectations: The Logic of Regime Change in Eurasia, draft manuscript, Chapters 1-2. [50]
Leslie Holmes, “Corruption and Organized Crime in Putin’s Russia,” Europe-Asia Studies, v.60, no.6, August 2008,
Brian Taylor, “Russia’s Passive Army: Rethinking Military Coups,” Comparative Political Studies, v.34, no.8, October
2001, pp.924-952. [29]
Kitschelt, Herbert, Zdenka Mansfeldova, Radoslaw Markowski, and Gabor Toka, Post-Communist Party Systems (NY:
Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp.19-42. [24]
Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, “What Explains Corruption Perceptions? The Dark Side of Political Competition in Russia's
Regions,” Comparative Politics, v.42, no.2, January 2010.
5. Sep. 27. What Causes “Ethnic” or “Religious” Wars? [202]
 Georgi Derluguian, Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 2005), Chapters 6-7 [123]
 Idil Tuncer-Kilavuz, “The Role of Networks in Tajikistan’s Civil War: Network Activation and
Violence Specialists,” Nationalities Papers, v.37, no.5, September 2009, pp.693-717. [25]
 Stuart Kaufman, “Spiraling to Ethnic War: Elites, Masses, and Moscow in Moldova’s Civil
War,” International Security, v.21, no.2, Fall 1996, pp.108-38. [31]
 David D. Laitin, “Secessionist Rebellion in the Former Soviet Union,” Comparative Political
Studies, v.34, no.8, October 2001, pp.839-61. [23]
Recommended but not required:
Jason Lyall, “Are Co-Ethnics More Effective Counter-Insurgents? Evidence from the Second Chechen War,” American
Political Science Review, v.104, no.1, February 2010, pp.1-20. [20]
Cory Welt, “The Thawing of a Frozen Conflict: The Internal Security Dilemma and the 2004 Prelude to the RussoGeorgian War,” Europe-Asia Studies, v.62, no.1, January 2010, pp.63-97. [35]
Svante E. Cornell, “Autonomy as a Source of Conflict: Caucasian Conflicts in Theoretical Perspective,” World Politics,
v.54, no.2, January 2002, pp.245-276. [32]
Pauline Jones Luong, Institutional Change and Political Continuity in Post-Soviet Central Asia (NY: Cambridge Univ.
Press, 2002), pp.63-98. [36]
Charles King, “The Benefits of Ethnic War: Understanding Eurasia’s Unrecognized States,” World Politics, v.53, no.4,
July 2001, pp.524-552. [29]
John Schoeberlein-Engel, “Conflict in Tajikistan and Central Asia: The Myth of Ethnic Animosity,” Harvard Middle
Eastern and Islamic Review, v.1, no.2, 1994, pp.1-55.
Monica Toft, The Geography of Ethnic Violence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003).
6. Oct. 4. Does Ethnofederalism Prevent State Collapse or Cause It? [107]
 Sidney Tarrow, “The Strategy of Paired Comparison,” Comparative Political Studies, v.43, no.2,
July 2010, pp.230-59. [30]
 Valerie Bunce, “Subversive Institutions: The End of the Soviet State in Comparative
Perspective,” Post-Soviet Affairs, v.14, no.4, 1998, pp.323-54. [32]
PSC289 Hale
Fall 2010
Henry E. Hale, “The Makeup and Breakup of Ethnofederal States: Why Russia Survives Where
the USSR Fell,” Perspectives on Politics, v.3, no.1, March 2005, pp.55-70. [16]
Henry E. Hale, “Divided We Stand: Institutional Sources of Ethnofederal State Survival and
Collapse,” World Politics, v.56, no.2, January 2004, pp.165-93. [29]
Recommended but not required:
Valerie Bunce, Subversive Institutions (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
Philip Roeder, Where Nation-States Come From (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007).
Henry E. Hale, “The Double-Edged Sword of Ethnofederalism: Ukraine and the USSR in Comparative Perspective,”
Comparative Politics, v.40, no.3, April 2008, pp.293-312. [20]
7. Oct. 11. What Causes States to Be More or Less Democratic? [96 + Fish selection **]
 M. Steven Fish, Democracy Derailed in Russia : The Failure of Open Politics (New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2005). SELECTION **
 Michael McFaul, “The Fourth Wave of Democracy and Dictatorship: Noncooperative Transitions
in the Post-Communist World,” World Politics, v.54, no.2, January 2002, pp. 212-244. [33]
 Lucan Way, “Authoritarian State-Building and the Sources of Regime Competitiveness in the
Fourth Wave: The Cases of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine,” World Politics, v.57,
January 2005, pp.231-61. [32]
 Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman, “A Normal Country,” Foreign Affairs, v.83, no.2,
March/April 2004. [15]
 Kathleen A. Collins, “Clans, Pacts, and Politics in Central Asia,” Journal of Democracy, v.13,
no.3, July 2002, pp.137-52. [16]
Recommended but not required:
Kimitaka Matsuzato, “A Populist Island in an Ocean of Clan Politics: The Lukashenka Regime as an Exception among
CIS Countries,” Europe-Asia Studies, v.56, no.2, March 2004, pp.235-261. [27]
Gerald Easter, “The Russian State in the Time of Putin,” Post-Soviet Affairs, v.24, no.3, 2008, pp.199-230. [32]
Susan D. Hyde, “The Observer Effect in International Politics: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,” World Politics,
v.60, no.1, October 2007, pp.37-73. [37]
Michael H. Bernhard and Ekrem Karakoc, “Civil Society and the Legacies of Dictatorship,” World Politics, v.59, no.4,
July 2007, pp.539-67.
Michael McFaul, Russia’s Unfinished Revolution (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001).
Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Journal of Democracy 13 (April 2002).
Richard Pipes, “Flight From Freedom,” Foreign Affairs, v.83, May/June 2004, pp.9-15.
Vladimir Gel’man, “Regime Transition, Uncertainty and the Prospects for Redemocratisation,” Europe-Asia Studies,
v.51, 1999, pp.939-56.
Marc Morje Howard, The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe (NY: Cambridge University Press,
Gerald M. Easter, “Preference for Presidentialism: Postcommunist Regime Change in Russia and the NIS,” World
Politics 49 (January 1997).
Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, “When Do Elites Compete? The Determinants of Political Competition in Russian Regions,”
Comparative Politics, v.38, no.3, April 2006.
Cory Welt, “Still Staging Democracy: Contestation and Conciliation in Postwar Georgia,” Demokratizatsiya: The
Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, v.17, no.3, Summer 2009, pp.196-227. [32]
Kathleen Collins, Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006).
8. Oct. 18. What Are Hybrid Regimes and How Do They Work? [51 + Levitsky and Way]
 Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the
Cold War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010). SELECTION **
 Edward Schatz, “The Soft Authoritarian Tool Kit: Agenda-Setting Power in Kazakhstan and
Kyrgyzstan,” Comparative Politics, v.41, no.2, January 2009, pp.203-22. [20]
 Timothy J. Colton and Henry E. Hale, “The Putin Vote: Presidential Electorates in a Hybrid
Regime,” Slavic Review, v.68, no.3, Fall 2009, pp.473-503. [31]
PSC289 Hale
Fall 2010
Recommended but not required:
Richard Sakwa, “The Dual State in Russia,” Post-Soviet Affairs, v.26, no.3, July-September 2010, pp.185-206. [22]
Andrew Wilson, Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Communist World (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 2005).
Henry E. Hale, “Eurasian Polities as Hybrid Regimes: The Case of Putin’s Russia,” Journal of Eurasian Studies, v.1,
no.1, 2010, pp.1-9. [9]
Vladimir Gel’man, “Political Opposition in Russia: A Dying Species?” Post-Soviet Affairs, v.21, no.3, September
2005, pp.226-46. [21]
Kathleen Collins, “Ideas, Networks, and Islamist Movements: Evidence from Central Asia and the Caucasus,” World
Politics, v.60, no.1, October 2007, pp.64-96. [33]
Stephen E. Hanson, “Instrumental Democracy: The End of Ideology and the Decline of Russian Political Parties,” in
Vicki Hesli and William Reisinger, eds., Elections, Parties and the Future of Russia (NY: Cambridge, 2003),
pp.163-85. [23]
Arthur H. Miller, Gwyn Erb, William M. Reisinger, and Vicki L. Hesli, “Emerging Party Systems in Post-Soviet
Societies: Fact or Fiction?” Journal of Politics, v.62, no.2, May 2000, pp.455-90. [36]
Timothy J. Colton and Michael McFaul, Popular Choice and Managed Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings
Institution Press, 2003), 170-97. [28]
Henry E. Hale, Why Not Parties in Russia? Democracy, Federalism, and the State (NY: Cambridge University Press,
Richard Rose and Neil Munro, Elections Without Order (NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
Richard Rose, William Mishler, Neil Munro, Russia Transformed: Developing Support for a New Regime (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Grigory Golosov, Political Parties in the Regions of Russia (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2003).
Andrew Konitzer, Voting for Russia’s Governors (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).
Herbert Kitschelt and Regina Smyth, “Programmatic Party Cohesion in Postcommunist Democracies: Russia in
Comparative Context,” Comparative Political Studies, v.35, no.10, December 2002, pp.1228-56.
9. Oct. 25. When Do Oppositions Succeed in Toppling Dictators? [152]
 Michael McFaul, “Transitions from Communism,” Journal of Democracy, v.16, no.3, July 2005,
pp.5-19. [15]
 Paul D’Anieri, “Explaining the Success and Failure of Post-Communist Revolutions,”
Communist and Post-Communist Studies, v.39, no.3, September 2006, pp.331-50. [20]
 Mark Beissinger, “Structure and Example in Modular Political Phenomena: The Diffusion of
Bulldozer/Rose/Orange/Tulip Revolutions,” Perspectives on Politics, v.5, no.2, June 2007,
pp.259-76. [18]
 Lucan Way, “The Real Causes of the Color Revolutions,” Journal of Democracy, v.19, no.3, July
2008, pp.55-69. [15]
 Philipp Kuntz and Mark R. Thompson, “More than Just the Final Straw: Stolen Elections as
Revolutionary Triggers,” Comparative Politics, v.41, no.3, April 2009, pp.253-72. [20]
 Valerie Bunce and Sharon Wolchik, “Defeating Dictators: Electoral Change and Stability in
Competitive Authoritarian Regimes,” World Politics, v.63, no.1, January 2010, pp.43-86. [44]
 Scott Radnitz, “The Color of Money: Privatization, Economic Dispersion, and the Post-Soviet
‘Revolutions’,” Comparative Politics, v.42, no.2, January 2010, pp.127-46. [20]
Recommended but not required:
Henry E. Hale, “Regime Cycles: Democracy, Autocracy, and Revolution in Post-Soviet Eurasia,” World Politics, v.58,
no.1, October 2005, pp.133-65. [33]
Mancur Olson, “The Logic of Collective Action in Soviet-type Societies,” Journal of Soviet Nationalities, v.1, no.2,
Summer 1990, pp.8-27. [20]
Joshua Tucker, “Enough! Electoral Fraud, Collective Action Problems, and the ‘2nd wave’ of Post-Communist
Democratic Revolutions,” Perspectives on Politics, v.5, no.3, September 2007, pp.537-553. [17]
Lincoln Mitchell, Uncertain Democracy: U.S. Foreign Policy and Georgia’s Rose Revolution (Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).
Michael McFaul, “Ukraine Imports Democracy: External Influences on the Orange Revolution,” International Security,
v.32, no.2, Fall 2007, pp.45-83. [39]
Timur Kuran, “Now Out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989,” World Politics,
v.44, October 1991.
PSC289 Hale
Fall 2010
Katya Kalandadze and Mitchell A. Orenstein, “Electoral Protests and Democratization: Beyond the Color
Revolutions,” Comparative Political Studies, v.42, no.11, 2009, p.1403-25.
10. Nov. 1. What Are the Political Determinants of Economic Growth? [59]
 Anders Aslund and Nazgul Jenish, “The Eurasian Growth Paradox,” Institute for International
Economics Working Paper no.06-5, June 2006, . [13]
 Vladimir Popov, “Circumstances versus Policy Choices: Why Has the Economic Performance of
the Soviet Successor States Been So Poor?” in Michael McFaul & Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, eds.,
After the Collapse of Communism: Comparative Lessons of Transition (NY: Cambridge
University Press, 2004) pp.96-129. [34]
 Mitchell A. Orenstein, “What Happened in East European (Political) Economies?: A Balance
Sheet for Neoliberal Reform,” East European Politics and Societies, v.23, no.4, 2009, pp.479-90.
Recommended but not required:
Joel Hellman, “Winners Take All: The Politics of Partial Reform in Post-Communist Transitions,” World Politics,
January 1998, v.50, no.2, pp.203-34. [32]
Anders Aslund, “The Advantages of Radical Reform.” Journal of Democracy, v.12, no. 4, October 2001, pp.42-48. [7]
Jessica Allina-Pisano, The Post-Soviet Potemkin Village (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008), pp.166-88. [23]
11. Nov. 8. Is Resource Wealth a Curse? [54 + PJL-EW **]
 Anja Franke, Andrea Gawrich, and Gurban Alakbarov, “Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan as PostSoviet Rentier States: Resource Incomes and Autocracy as a Double ‘Curse’ in Post-Soviet
Regimes,” Europe-Asia Studies, v.61, no.1, January 2009, pp.109-40.[32]
 Peter Rutland, “Putin’s Economic Record: Is the Oil Boom Sustainable?” Europe-Asia Studies,
v.60, no.6, August 2008, pp.1051-72. [22]
 Pauline Jones Luong and Erika Weinthal, Oil Is Not a Curse: Ownership Structure and
Institutions in Soviet Successor States (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Recommended but not required:
Andrew Barnes, Owning Russia: The Struggle Over Factories, Farms, and Power (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 2006).
12. Nov. 15. Democracy, Autocracy, and Revolution in Post-Soviet Eurasia
* Literature Critique Due via Email by 5 pm (before start of class) *
 Lecture by Prof. Hale
13. Nov. 22. Comparative Political Science and U.S. Democracy Promotion
 Guest Lecturer: Alexander Sokolowski, USAID (Hopefully!!! TBC)
 No readings are assigned for this week; students should be conducting their term paper research
14. Nov. 29. Student Research for Papers/Presentations: No Class Meeting.
 Note: The class normally scheduled for today will meet instead on the scheduled Makeup Day
(Dec. 7), which will be devoted to student presentations.
15. Dec. 6. Student Presentations
16. Dec. 7 (Makeup Day). Student Presentations
* Thu., Dec. 16: Final Paper Due via Email by 5 pm *

syllabus - Department of Political Science