The central aim of this course is to provide the student with analytical tools for utilising both primary and secondary sources in order to conduct research on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.
Specifically, the course is aimed to:
■ Enable the students to employ a wide range of primary and secondary materials, including on-line material, to aid them in their research;
■ Enable the students to critically approach the historiography of the region;
■ Develop critical skills in the study of the new archival material that recently became available in the region, and the analysis of the policy documents issued by post-Soviet and post-Communist government across Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia;
■ Provide the students with theoretical and practical training to analyse the nature of the state socialist system and the problems inherent in conducting research in the transition era and beyond;
■ Explore issues related to the ethics, confidentiality, and legality of research, e.g. in interviews, questionnaires, and surveys;
■ Equip students with advanced skills to undertake research in the region, and prepare them for possible difficulties encountered in researching in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia using a foreign language.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
1. Recognise the problems related to the analysis of Soviet historical sources;
2. Analyse texts, discourses, and policy documents issued by government departments and ministries across Russia, East Europe, and Eurasia;
3. Break down problems to be encountered while studying policy documents issued by governments in the area;
4. Analyse theories of transition from state socialism to capitalism, including problems related to the interpretation of data and analysis of government policy;
5. Competently use qualitative methods of data collection in the field including open-ended questionnaire surveys, ethnographic interviews, group interviewing, focus groups, and participant observation;
6. Illustrate the development of survey research in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia since 1990;
7. Design a research project, in an Arts or Social Sciences discipline, on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.