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Russian Geopolitics

Are we witnessing a new Cold War in the relations between Russia and the West? Or is it an overrated cliché, inadequate to capture the complexity of the multi-polar world caught up in a whirlwind of globalisation? This lecture series will demonstrate that Russia’s geopolitical performance is dynamic and complex.

On the wider global stage we see Russia turning to its old allies and major players, testing the contours of a new strategic and mutually beneficial geopolitical order outside the conceptual west. These evolving ties include road and railworks, oil pipelines, technology transfers, business investments, trade, strategic alliances, maritime accords and other ways of cementing loyalties. In this module, the University of Amsterdam’s East European Studies experts come together to address the vital question of the significance of Russia’s emergent network of allies and partners for our understanding of the changing geopolitical order of the 21st century. The  lectures will offer a tapestry of facts, insights and theories woven together with the threads of history, geography, religion, culture, ideology, politics, diplomacy, military strategy and economy,  and familiarising students with  Russia's past and current negotiations with the world in this interdisciplinary fashion.



Sudha Rajagopalan, Nevenka Tromp and Artemy Kalinovsky.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn to see the Cold War as a global theatre of events.
  • They will learn to understand Cold War history using a prism that is wider than the conventional focus on the standoff between ‘east’ and ‘west,’ in the past and present.
  • Students will benefit from a wide perspective that draws on news, visual media and academic sources to engage with the topic in an interdisciplinary fashion.
  •  They will learn to draw connections between historical events and contemporary geopolitical trends.

Teaching format



Five short reports and a final essay.

Study material

Literature, syllabus and various internet sources/links will be posted on Canvas.


You can find the timetable on Datanose.

Number of participants


Entry requirements

Open to second and third year bachelor students.


This course is open for UvA students and other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions. You can register from 3 December until a week before the start of the course. 

Registration UvA students (look for code: 5512RUGE6Y).

Registration other interested parties

If you have any trouble while registering please contact: Keuzeonderwijs-iis@uva.nl 


Check the website

Russian Geopolitics
Vorm Kortlopend, kortlopend
Studielast 6 EC,
Voertaal Engels
Start Februari