Understanding Russia: Insights into Contemporary Russian Culture and Politics
The recent crisis in Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union has aggravated the tendency to view Russia through the prism of stereotypes. Contemporary Russian Federation is often seen as a re-incarnation of the Soviet Union, a country with authoritarian political culture single-handedly ruled by Vladimir Putin, pursuing an expansionist foreign policy agenda and engaged in a new Cold War against the West. While there is a grain of truth behind each of these stereotypes, they hardly advance our understanding of the complex social, cultural and political developments that underlie the current crisis, drive Russia’s domestic and foreign policy, and influence the daily realities and perspectives of millions of Russians.
The summer school invites you to go beyond clichés by looking at some of the key aspects of life in contemporary Russia. Rather than attempting a superficial overview of the standard ‘Russia A to Z’ topics, we will delve deeply into selected themes that illustrate the internal diversity of the Russian society and the multi-dimensional, often contradictory nature of recent transformations. Each day will focus on a specific aspect of societal developments, leading up to a discussion of current political issues – both domestic and international. Classes will be conducted by leading experts based in Estonia, Russia and other countries, each of them possessing unique first-hand insights based on years of conducting internationally acclaimed research.
The school is hosted by the Centre for EU-Russia Studies and Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. Founded in 1632, the UT is the leading research university in the New Europe (Times Higher Education 2018). The school is held in the three main cities of Estonia: the capital Tallinn (week 1), the university town of Tartu (week 2) and the border city of Narva (weekend). The format of the school combines lectures and seminars with study trips, site visits, and a rich cultural and social program.
The school’s curriculum will focus on the following broad themes:
Applications are evaluated based on
Motivation letter (up to 1,5 page) that demonstrates the applicant’s motivation to participate, explains his/her expectations about the program and explains how the participation in the summer program is connected with his/hers studies and interests, and how the applicant plans to use gained experience and knowledge in the future.
Level: BA and MA
Credits: 4 ECTS
Location: Tallinn, Narva, Tartu
Time: 14-27 July, 2019
Programme fee: 1600 €
Programme fee: 1600 € includes tuition fee, cost of the study visits, cultural and social programme, the services of the host university with the accommodation in double rooms at student dormitory.