NEWSWATCH: “Michael McFaul Course Syllabus: Russia and the West [Spring 2018]” – Stanford University

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“Most agree that relations between the United States and Russia today are at one of the low points in decades. … Some attribute this current clash to decisions taken by foreign policymakers in Washington and Moscow. … cit[ing] variation in Russian-American relations – sometimes relations have been ‘good,’ other times ‘bad’ – to highlight the role of more contingent factors in driving the ups and downs of U.S.-Russia relations. Another school focuses on regime type as the central driver of conflict and cooperation. Others point to more enduring, structural features of this bilateral relationship such as the balance of power in the international system or cultural differences between ‘East’ and ‘West.’

In this seminar, we will seek to evaluate these competing theories … examining Russian-American relations over the last hundred years or so. At times, our lens will expand to include Russia’s relations with the West more generally. But the focus will be Russian-American relations. This course will analyze shifts in U.S.-Russia relations over several decades, but with a particular emphasis on the post-Cold War era.”

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