2023 – Spring

The Rise of the Secret Police State

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1182.019

Day & Time: Wed | 5:15 PM – 7:15 PM

Location: 20 Cooper Square, Room 653

Instructor: Yevgenia Albats

Why did Russia so miserably fail on the road to becoming a member of the lawobedient—
democratically—governed— nations club? How is it that, 29 years after the Soviet Union’s
collapse (i.e., the so-called “Red Sunset”) Russia has become an adversary of — if not to say
a threat to — the West? How did the graduates of the USSR’s most powerful and most
repressive institution, its political police, the KGB, manage to take control of the nation’s
political, governmental and economic realms? These are the questions this course is
designed to explore and attempt to answer.

Course is cross listed with Russian/Slavic Studies Department

Week One Introduction to the course. Polsci vs Journalism.
Week Two / Three Theories of Regime Change Erica Frantz, Authoritarianism. What
Everyone needs to Know, Oxford University Press ( 2018), Ch.2, Ch.5, Ch.7, Ch.8 OR:
Juan Linz, Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes, Boulder: Lynne Reiner Publishers, Inc.
(2000). Ch.4: “Authoritarian Regimes”, pp. 159-208, 217-227. Steven Levitsky and Daniel
Ziblatt, How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future, Ch.4 & Ch.5 Week
Three (Sep.18,20) Role of Institutions Douglass C. North, Institutions, Institutional Change
and Economic Performances, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1990), An
Introduction, pp.3-16, Ch.10, pp.83—104.
Week Four / Five
Walter McKenzie Pintner and Don Karl Rowney, ed., Russian Officialdom. The
Bureaucratization of Russian Society from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1980), Ch.1, pp.3-18.
Institutional Legacies. A brief history of the USSR’s Political Police, the KGB I: Setting Rules
and Norms
Yevgenia Albats, The State Within A State. The KGB and Its Hold on Russia: Past, Present and
Future, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1994), Ch.2, pp.70-111, Ch.3, pp. 112-167.
Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations
from Lenin to Gorbachev, NY: HarperCollins Publishers (1990), Ch.4 107-149.
Week Six / Seven Institutional Legacies
The State Within A State Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of
Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev, NY: HarperCollins Publishers (1990), Ch.12,
pp. 477-531, Ch.14, pp. 606-646.

Week Nine/Ten

“Lustration Laws in Action: The Motives and Evaluation of Lustration Policy in the Czech
Republic and Poland (1989–2001)”, Law and Social Inquiry (28 July 2006)
:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-4469.2003.tb00197.x Cynthia Horne, “Assessing the Impact
of Lustration on Trust in Public Institutions and National Government in Central and Eastern
Europe.” Comparative Political Studies 45(4), pp. 412-446 (2011).
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0010414011421766 Gabor Halmai, “Lustration
and Access to the Files in Central Europe”, in: Vladimira Dvorakova and Andelko
Milarodovic, ed. Lustration and Consolidation of Democracy and The Rule of Law in Central
and Eastern Europe, Zagreb (2007). http://syriaaccountability.org/wp-
content/uploads/KAS_Lustration-andConsolidation_2007_EN.pdf NB! I‘d advise those who
choose to write a paper on outcomes of lustration to get familiar with:
Lavinia Stan, Nadia Nedelsky, Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2013.

Putin’s Silent Coup
Week Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen
Readings : Catherine Belton , Putin’s People: How the KGB took back Russia pp to be
Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face. The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, NY: Riverhead
Books (2012), Ch. 3, Ch.4, pp.181-213, Ch.5, pp. 214-227, 250-273, Ch.6, pp. 274—302.
Fiona Hill, Clifford G. Gaddy, Mr. Putin. Operative in the Kremlin, Washington, D.C.:
Brookings Institution Press (2013), Ch. 9 (The System).
Vladimir Putin (with: Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova, Andrei Kolesnikov), First
Person. An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, NY: Public
Affairs (2000) Part 4, 5, 6.

Olga Kryshtanovskaya and Stephen White, “Putin’s Militocracy,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 19,4
(2003), pp. 289-306
Week Nine (Oct.30, Nov.1) Putin: Building the Corporate State —II Andrei Soldatov and
Michael Rochiltz, “The Siloviki in Russian Politics”, in Daniel Treisman, ed. The New
Autocracy, Information, Politics, and Policy in Putin’s Russia, Washington, D.C.: Brookings
Institution Press, 2018 https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt1zkjzsh
Nikolai Petrov , “Understanding Methods of Elite Repression”, Chatham House, June 4,2019:
russia ; Nikolai Petrov to Masha Lipman , “The Repressions Spiral”, Ponars Eurasia, March
11, 2019: http://www.ponarseurasia.org/point-counter/article/repressions-spiral

Olga Kryshtanovskaya and Stephen White, “Putin’s Militocracy,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 19,4
(2003), pp. 289-306.

Henry Foy, “We need to talk about Igor’: The Rise of Russia’s most powerful oligarch”(Igor
Sechin, CEO, Rosneft) , Financial Times magazine (March1, 2018)
Daniel Treisman, “Putin’s Silovarchs”, Orbis Volume 51, Issue 1, 2007, pp.141153