PLIR 7760. Russian Foreign Relations

Spring 2017

Wednesdays, 6-8:30 pm

064 New Cabell Hall

Mr. Lynch

Office hours (S397 Gibson/So. Lawn): Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 & by appointment

This course is organized as a colloquium, i.e., based on discussion of seminal readings in Russian foreign relations across disciplines. Students will submit two analytical essays and a research proposal throughout the semester. Class discussion is central to the course. Details on procedure will be explained at the first class.

Books ordered for purchase at the University Bookstore include:

Robert Legvold, ed., Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century & the Shadow of the Past (2007).

Martin Malia, Russia Under Western Eyes: From the Bronze Horseman to the Lenin Mausoleum (2000).

Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin’s Wars: from World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (2008).

Timothy Naftali and AleksandrFursenko, Khrushchev’s Cold War (2007).

Matthew Ouimet, The Rise & Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy (2001).

Ted Hopf, Social Construction of International Politics: Identities & Foreign Policies, Moscow, 1955 & 1999 (2002).

Angela Stent, The Limits of Partnership: US-Russian Relations in the 21st Century (2015).

Rajan Menon and Eugene Rumer, The Conflict in Ukraine: The Unmaking of the post-Cold War Order (2015).

Jon Jacobson, When the Soviet Union Entered World Politics (1994), is available free on- line via VIRGO)

Jacques Levesque, The Enigma of 1989: the USSR & the Liberation of Eastern Europe (1997), is available free on-line via the University of California Press, at:

All other readings are available on the course’s Collab site or, in rare cases, available in e-form from sites like amazon.com, etc.

Schedule of Classes

January 18. Introduction to the Class.

January 25. Historical Patterns in Russia’s Foreign Relations: to 1853

Read: Malia, Russia Under Western Eyes, 15-84;

On Collab: George Vernadsky, “The Mongol Impact on Russia”; Marshall Poe, “Origins of the Russian Moment”; Geoffrey Hosking, “Ivan IV and the Expansion of Muscovy;” William Fuller, “Peter the Great,” in Strategy and Power in Imperial Russia; John LeDonne, “The Destabilization of the Core Areas, 1700-1768;” N.N. Bolkhovitinov, Russia and the American Revolution, pp. 1-43; Allen C. Lynch, How Russia is—Not—Ruled (2005).

Alternative Readings:

George Vernadsky, A Political and Diplomatic History of Russia (1936).

John LeDonne, The Russian Empire and the World, 1700-1917: The Geopolitics of Expansion and Containment (1996).

S. Solov’ev, IstoriyaRossii s drevneishikhvremen (multi-volume, 1851-1879)—consult diplomatic sections.

February 1. Crisis of the Imperial Paradigm, 1853-1917

Read: Alfred Rieber, “How Persistent are Persistent Factors?” in Robert Legvold, ed., Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century & the Shadow of the Past, 205-279; Malia, 161-231;

On Collab: Dietrich Geyer, Russian Imperialism (1987), pp. 15-85; Sean McMeekin, The Russian Origins of the First World War (2011), pp. 6-40; Theodore H. von Laue, “Problems of Modernization,” in Ivo J. Lederer, ed., Russian Foreign Policy: Essays in Historical Interpretation, 69-104; HajoHolborn, “Russia and the European Political System.”

Alternatives Readings:

Barbara Jelavich, Russia’s Balkan Entanglements, 1806-1914 (2004).

Idem, St. Petersburg and Moscow: Tsarist and Soviet Foreign Policy, 1814-1974(1974).

Hugh Ragsdale, ed., Imperial Russian Foreign Policy (1993).

William Fuller, Strategy and Power in Russia, 1600-1914 (1992).

February 8. The Foreign Relations of the Russian Revolution, 1917-1928

Read: Jon Jacobson, When the Soviet Union Entered World Politics, 11-205; Malia, 233-313; Robert Legvold, “Russian Foreign Policy During Periods of Great Stress,” in Legvold, op cit., 77-144.

On Collab: E.H. Carr, The Soviet Impact on the Western World, 84-103.

Alternative Readings:

George F. Kennan, Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin (1961).

E.H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution, vol. III (1961).

GeorgiiChicherin, Stati I rechipovoprosammezhdunarodnoipolitiki (1961).

T. Ulricks, Diplomacy and Ideology: the Origins of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1930 (1979).

February 15. The Collapse of Soviet Security: the 1930’s & the Advent of the “Second Inter-Imperialist War”

Read: Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin’s Wars, 1-194; Malia, 313-356; Jacobson, 206-280.

On Collab: Adam Ulam, “Transition, 1921-33;” Robert Conquest, “Assault on the Army.”

Alternative Readings:

Jonathan Haslam, The Soviet Union and the Struggle for Collective Security (1982)

Idem, The Soviet Union and the Threat from the East, 1933-41: Moscow, Tokyo and the Prelude to the Pacific War (1994)

Michael Carley, 1939: The Alliance that Never Was and the Coming of World War II (2009)

Sovetskayavneshniaiapolitika 1917-1945 gg: Poiskinovykhpodkhodov (1992)

Raymond Sontag, ed., Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-41 (1948)

February 22. From World War to Cold War

Read: Roberts, 192-374; Malia, 357-373;

On Collab: David Holloway, “Stalin and the Bomb”; Melvyn Leffler, “A Preponderance of Power;” John Lewis Gaddis, “Cold War Readings”; VladislavZubok, Failed Empire (2007), pp. 1-28.

Alternative Readings:

VladislavZubok & Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: from Stalin to Khrushchev (1997)

John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2006)

Institutvseobshcheiistorii, Stalin ikholodniaiavoyna (1998)

Pavel Sudoplatov, RazvedkaiKreml’: Zapiskinezhelatel’nogosvidetelya (1996)

Milovan Djilas, Conversations with Stalin (1962)

Feliks Chuyev, Stosorokbesed s Molotovym: Izdnevnika F.A. Chueva (1991)

VojtechMastny, The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity (1998)

March 1. Dimensions and Limits to DeStalinization in Soviet Foreign Policy

Read: Timothy Naftali and AleksandrFursenko, Khrushchev’s Cold War, 83-157, 185-291, 338-366, 409-492; Malia, 373-383; Ted Hopf, Social Construction of International Politics, 39-151;

On Collab: William Taubman, “Ch. 11: Khrushchev: Man & Era [From the Secret Speech to the Hungarian Revolution];” Taubman, “Khrushchev: Man & Era [The Cuban Cure-All, 1962].”

Alternative Readings:

Nikita S. Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers (in three volumes, 1971 et seq.).

VeljkoMicunovic, Moscow Diary (1980); author was Yugoslav Ambassador to USSR in Khrushchev period.

Michael Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-63 (1991).

William Taubman, Khrushchev: A Life (2004).

March 8. No Class.

March 15. The Brezhnev Era: Détente and Confrontation

Read: Matthew Ouimet, Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine, in entirety; Malia, 383-401;

On Collab: Gaddis, “Russia, the Soviet Union & the United States [From Confrontation to Negotiation],” pp. 253-294; Jonathan Haslam, “The Impact of Vietnam”; Raymond Garthoff, “Détente and Confrontation.”

Alternative Readings:

Raymond Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, 1969-1985 (1985, revised 1994).

Andre Fontaine, Un Seul Lit pour deuxreves: Histoire de la Détente, 1962-1981 (1981).

Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents (1997).

Andrei A. Gromyko, Pamiatnoe (1985).

Georgii A. Arbatov, Zatianavsheevshiavyzdorovleniye, 1953-1985 gg: Svidetel’stvosovremennika (1991).

Charles Gati, The Bloc that Failed: Soviet-East European relations in Transition(1990).

March 22. The Gorbachev Revolution

Read: Jacques Levesque, The Enigma of 1989, in entirety;

On Collab: Allen Lynch, “Soviet Study of International Relations”; idem, “Soviet and Chinese Reform Strategies”; Jack Matlock, “A Common Agenda”; Mark Haas, “The United States and the End of the Cold War”; James Goldgeier and Michael McFaul, “Power and Purpose.”

Alternative Readings:

Mary Sarotte, 1989: the Struggle to Create post-Cold War Europe (2009)

Philip Zelikow and Condoleeza Rice, Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1997)

Andrei Grachev, Kremlevskiaiakhronika (1994); Grachev was a key policy aide to Gorbachev

Robert English, Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals and the End of the Cold War (2000)

Anatoly Adamishin, BeloesolntseAngoly(2001)

Allen Lynch, The Soviet Study of International Relations (1987, revised 1989)

Raymond Garthoff, The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War (1994)

March 29. Ideology and Realities in post-Soviet Foreign Policy: the 1990’s

Read: Hopf, 153-258; Angela Stent, The Limits of Partnership, pp. 1-48;

On Collab: Andrei Tsygankov, ch.3, “Post-Cold War Euphoria & Russia’s Liberal Westernism, pp. 55-89” (under “tsygankov.russia’s foreign policy”); Allen Lynch, “The Realism of Russian Foreign Policy”; William Zimmerman, “Russian People and Foreign Policy”; Joseph Stiglitz, “Who Lost Russia?”

Alternative Readings:

Strobe Talbott, The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy (2002).

Celeste Wallander, Mortal Friends, Best Enemies: German-Russian Cooperation After the Cold War (1999).

AlekseiArbatov, Rossiiskaianatsional’naiaideia I vneshnyiaiapolitika (mify I real’nosti) (1998).

AleksandrDugin, Osnovygeopolitiki: GeopoliticheskoyebudushcheeRossii (1997).

James Goldgeier and Michael McFaul, Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy Toward Russia After the Cold War (2003).

Janine Wedel, Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe (1998).

April 5. Russian-American Relations in the Putin-Bush Era, 2001-2008.

Read: Stent, The Limits of Partnership, pp. 49-176;

On Collab: Thomas Ambrosio, “Russo-American Dispute Over Iraq;” idem,

“Insulating Russia from a Color Revolution;” Andrei Tsygankov, “Russophobia;” Dmitri Trenin, “Russia Leaves the West.”

Alternative Readings:

Andrei Tsygankov, Whose World Order? Russia’s Perceptions of American Ideas after the Cold War (2004).

Roy Medvedev, Vladimir Putin: Chetyregoda v Kremle(2005)—foreign policy sections.

Idem, Vladimir Putin: VtoroySrok (2006)—foreign policy sections.

Pierre Lorrain, L’incroyable alliance russie-etats-unis (2002).

Ronald Asmus, A Little War that Shook the World (2010).

April 12. Russian-American Relations in the Era of the Obama “Reset”

Read: Stent, Limits of Partnership, pp. 177-274;

On Collab: Allen C. Lynch, “The Influence of Regime Type on Russia’s Relations with the “West,” 1992-2015,” Communist & post-Communist Studies, vol. 49 (1), March 2016, pp. 101-111; Treisman and Shleifer, “Why Russia Says No;” Kuchins, “The Obama Administration’s Reset Button for Russia;” AzuolasBagdonas, “Russia’s Interests in the Syrian Conflict: Power, Prestige, and Profit,” European Journal of Economic and Political Studies, vol. 5, no.2 (2012), pp. 55-77; Angela Stent, “Putin’s Power Play in Syria,” Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 2016.

Alternative Readings:

Robert Legvold, Return to Cold War (2015).

April 19. A Eurasian Future for Russia? Implications of the Ukraine Crisis, 2013-present.

Read:Rajan Menon & Eugene Rumer, Crisis in Ukraine: the Unmaking of the post-Cold War Order (2015), in its entirety; Stent, Limits of Partnership, pp. 275-306; Ronald Suny, “Living in the Hood: Russia, Empire and Old and New Neighbors,” in Legvold, op. cit., 35-70;

On Collab: John Mearsheimer, “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2014.

Alternative Readings:

AleksandrDugin, Osnovygeopolitiki, op. cit.

Dmitri Trenin, Post-Imperium: A Eurasian Story(2011).

April 26. Thinking About the Future

Read: Angela Stent, “Reluctant Europeans: Three Centuries of Russian Ambivalence Toward the West,” in Legvold, op. cit., 393-442; Celeste Wallander, ”Global Challenges,” in Legvold, op. cit., 393-442; David McDonald, “Domestic Conjunctures, the Russian State and the World Outside,” in Legvold, op. cit., 145-187.


E.G. Solov’ev, Natsional’nyeinteresyiosnovnyepoliticheskiyesilysovremennoiRossii(2007)

SVOP/State Higher School of Economics, Mir vokrugRossii: 2017. Konturynedalekogobudushchego (2007).

Daniel Yergin and Thane Gustafson, Russia 2010: And What it Means for the World (1995).

Dmitri Trenin, Should We Fear Russia? (2016).

Resources for Research Projects on Russian Foreign Relations


MinisterstvoInostrannykh Del RossiyskoiFederatsii, VneshniaiapolitikaRossii: sbornikdocumentov (documentary series on post-Soviet and Soviet foreign policy; various years).

MinisterstvoInostrannykh Del SovetskogoSoyuza, VneshniaiapolitikaRossii XIX i nachala XX veka (multi-volume, 1960).

Cold War International History Project. A treasure trove of declassified, translated archival materials from ex-communist countries. See: cold-war-international-history-project

A.Galkin & A, Chernaiev, Mikhail Gorbachev igermanskiivopros. Sbornikdokumentov 1986-1991 gg (2006).

InstitutSlavovedeniya, AkademiyaNauk RF, Sovetskiy Soyuz iVengerskiykrizis 1956 goda (1998).

Istoriyasovetskogoatomnogoproekta: Dokumenty ,vospominaniya, issledovaniya


Kominternigrazhdanskayavoyna v Ispanii: Dokumenty (2001).

Kominternprotivfashizma: Dokumenty (1999).

Andrei M. Ledovskii, SSSR i Stalin v sudbakhKitaia: Dokumnenty I svidetl’stvauchastnikasobytii 1937-1952 (1999).

SSSR igermanskiivopros, 1941-1949: DokumentyizarkhivavneshneipolitikiRossiiskoyFederatsii (1996).

Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Daily Report. Central Eurasia (before 1992: Daily Report. Soviet Union). Exhaustive compilation of Russian newspaper articles, television and radio broadcasts, etc., translated into English.

Johnson’s Russia List, an electronic digest of contemporary Russian materials on politics, economics, diplomacy, etc.

Resources of the National Security Archive, a private organization.

(website of the Russian Foreign Ministry); see also for contemporary commentary.

for studies of Russian opinion, including on international issues, by an independent Russian polling agency (bilingual).

for a second source on Russian public opinion.

See also the web site of the series “Annals of Communism,” Yale University Press, at:

The works are based on Soviet and other ex-communist country archives.


Bibliography Branch, Fairchild Research Information Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, at:

East View Press, at:

(for access to Russian & Soviet periodical literature in foreign, defense policy)

Journal, Foreign Affairs (book reviews on USSR/Russia since 1922)

U.S. National Archives, at:

Thomas Hammond, ed., Soviet Foreign Relations & World Communism: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography (1966). 7,000 works in 30 languages.


The American Interest (scholarly policy analysis)

Cahiers du monde russe

Communist and post-Communist Studies

Le Courrier des pays de l’est

Demokratizatsiya: the Journal of post-Soviet Democratization

Diplomatic History (see also for scholarly commentary)

Europa-Archiv (Berlin)

Europe-Asia Studies (before 1992: Soviet Studies)

Herodote (in French: focus on geography and international relations)

InternationalePolitik (Berlin)

International Security

International Affairs (Moscow); in Russian as: MezhdunarodnayaZhizn’ (published by Russian Foreign Ministry)

International Affairs (UK)

Journal of Cold War Studies

Journal of Slavic Military Studies

Limes (in Italian; focus on geography and international relations)

Le Monde Diplomatique (excellent coverage of Russian domestic and foreign affairs, accessible on-line).

MirovayaEkonomikaiMezhdunarodnyeOtnosheniya (published by the Institute for the Study of the World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences)

The National Interest



Post-Soviet Affairs

Pro et Contra (Moscow, in Russian)

Problems of Post-Communism

Revue des etudes slaves

La revue geopolitque, at:

Russia in Global Affairs; published in Russian as: Rossiya v global’noypolitike; see www. (Russian)

Russian Review (especially good for book review section)

S. Sh. A., Kanada: Ekonomika, Politika, Ideologiya (published by the Institute of U.S.A. Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences)

Slavic Review (especially valuable for book review section)

The Soviet and post-Soviet Review

Studien der Bundesinstitutfuerostwissenschaftliche und international Studien(Berlin: exceptionally well sourced, with detailed abstracts in English)



The Washington Quarterly (scholarly policy analysis)

(Virtually all Russian newspapers are easily accessible on-line, many in bilingual editions)


(bilingual website of the Moscow branch of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; many related links)

(official website of the Russian presidency)

(for Russia-related items on the Council on Foreign Relations’ website)

(Moscow State Institute of International Relations)

(Security Council of the Russian Federation)

Additional Secondary Literature/Memoirs

A.M. Aleksandrov-Agentov, Ot Kollontai do Gorbacheva: Vospominaniyadiplomata [From Kollontai to Gorbachev: Memoirs of a diplomat](1994). By Brezhnev’s leading foreign policy advisor.

Andrei Amalrik, Prosushchestvuyet li Sovetskii Soyuz do 1984 goda? [Will the Soviet Union survive until 1984]? (1970). Correct prediction, wrong mechanism.

Aleksei G. Arbatov, Bezopasnost’: Rossiiskiivybor [Security: Russia’s choice] (1999). By one of Russia’s leading international security specialists.

Georgi A. Arbatov, Obshchstvennayanaukiipolitika [Social science and politics](1998). By Brezhnev’s leading U.S. specialist.

Ronald D. Asmus, A Little War that Shook the World. Georgia, Russia and the Future of the West (2010). An important account by an interested party.

Pavel Baev, Russian Energy Policy and Military Power: Putin’s Quest for Greatness (2008).

SewerynBialer, ed., Stalin and His Generals (1969). Scholarly anthology of memoirs of WWII generals, in English translation.

N.N. Bolkhovitinov & Elena Levin, The Beginnings of Russian-American Relations, 1775-1815 (1976).

Stephen Cohen, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of post-Communist Russia (2000).

A.A. Danilov, A.V. Pyzhnikov, Rozhdeniyesverkhderzhavy: SSSR v pervyeposlevoennye gody [Birth of a superpower: the USSR in the early postwar years] (2001).

Keith A. Darden, Economic Internationalism & its Rivals: the Formation of International Institutions Among the post-Soviet States (2009).

YuriyDrozdovVasiliyFartyshev, Yuriy Andropov i Vladimir Putin: naputi k vozrozhdeniyu [Yury Andropov and Vladimir Putin: toward recovery] (2002). A provocative comparison of Andropov and Putin.

Thomas S. Eder, China-Russia Relations in Central Asia (2013).

Valentin Falin, PolitischeErinnerungen [Political memoirs] (1993). By a leading Soviet expert on Germany.

Jeffrey Gedmin, The Hidden Hand: Gorbachev and the Collapse of East Germany (1992). Gorbachev unintentionally misled by the social-democratic contacts of his foreign policy team.

John H. Gleason, The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion (1950). How Britain’s image of Russia changed from the late-1700’s to 1853, for reasons that had to do with Britain and not Russia.

Marshall Goldman, Petrostate: Putin, Power and the New Russia (2010).

Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Zhizn’ I reform [Life and reforms] (1995). Remarkably naïve in many passages.

Oleg Grinevsky, TaynySovetskoydiplomatii [Secrets of Soviet diplomacy] (2000). By a leading Soviet diplomat/arms control specialist: focus on the Brezhnev period.

Idem, Tsyyachaiodin den’ NikitySergeevicha [A thousand and one days with Khrushchev] (1998). Author was at the time a foreign policy aide to Khrushchev: years 1959-1961.

Jonathan Haslam, Moscow’s Cold War: from the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall (2011). Ideology mattered.

Ted Hopf, ed., Russia’s European Choice (2008).

Idem, ed., Understandings of Russian Foreign Policy (1999). Integrating “constructivism” into the study of Russian foreign policy.

FiruzKazemzadeh, Russia and Britain in Persia, 1864-1914: A Study in Imperialism (1964).

George F. Kennan, The Decline of Bismarck’s European Order: Franco-Russian Relations, 1875-1890 (1979).

Andrei Kozyrev, Preobrazheniye [Reforms] (1995). By Yeltsin’s reformist foreign minister, defeated.

Melvyn Leffler, For the Soul of Mankind: the United States, the Soviet Union and the Cold War (2008). Focus on the interaction of ideology, interests and domestic political coalitions.

Robert Legvold, Return to Cold War (2016).

N.S. Leonov, Likholet’e: Sekretnyemissii [On the fly: secret missions](1995). Focus on Soviet-Cuban relations.

Lorenz Luthi, The Sino-Soviet Split: Cold War in the Communist World (2009).

Allen C. Lynch, The Soviet Study of International Relations (1987). Soviet new thinkers before Gorbachev’s new thinking.

Allen C. Lynch, Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft (2011).

ReneoLukic and Allen C. Lynch, Europe from the Balkans to the Urals: the Disintegration of Yugoslavia & the USSR & International Politics (1996).