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OEUR 2885 - Europe and Russia

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course aims to sharpen your understanding of political and geostrategic interests driving the EU-Russia relations. We will achieve this goal through weekly reading assignments, in-class discussions, oral presentations, a debate, in-class business negotiations simulation, an analytical paper and an exam. The course will proceed in two parts. Part I, Introduction into the past and present of the EU-Russia relations, will start with looking at the historical and cultural ties between Europe and Russia and the modern history of their relationship since the fall of the Soviet Union. It will continue with an overview of the Russian government system, and follow up by comparative EU-Russia approach to the common neighborhood. We will analyze the causes of the modern Russia's antagonism toward “the West,” study the evolution of the EU-Russia trade relations in the light of sanctions and anti-sanctions, and evaluate the stakes in the information and cyber wars. Building upon Part I, Part II will analyze the EU-Russia relations from the micro-economic perspective, through the prism of energy business. Through oral briefings, a debate, and a study of European and Russian energy companies, we will develop an understanding about the role of business in international affairs, as well as that of foreign policy in business development. We will decompose the EU-Russia relations by looking at 4 energy markets: gas, oil, electricity and nuclear. The last class will be a simulation of international negotiations among the Russian, European, Chinese and US energy companies present in the Russian energy sectors, which will test the students' understanding of the material covered in class and in the readings. By the end of the course, you will have learned what drives the EU-Russia relations, as well as the practical skills of business analysis, presenting your ideas in a structured and well-argued way in spoken and written English.


SHAPOCHKINA, Anastasiya (Engineer - Researcher, EDF R&D)

Pedagogical format

Seminar course (24hrs).

Course validation

- Class participation/Reading discussion and debate : 25% of the grade; - Business strategy OR personality paper : 30% of the grade; - In-class presentation : 13% of the grade; - Exam : 20% of the grade; - Last class negotiations simulation : 12% of the grade;


This class is a seminar. It means that you are expected to read the assigned articles on the topic and come prepared to discuss them in class. The average reading volume is 50 pages per session. Specific, detailed questions about the readings will be asked in class. Every student will be evaluated in every class on his understanding of the reading, the topic, and his/her ability to discuss it. The cumulative evaluation will account for 25% of the final grade. In addition to the weekly reading assignments and in-class discussions, the workload includes a group PowerPoint presentation, a debate, in-class business negotiations simulation, an analytical paper and an exam.

Required reading

  • The Russian constitution of 1993,
  • Lilia Shevtsova, Interregnum, Chapter 3: “The Russian Constitution As a Foundation of Personalized Power,” pp. 21-24,
  • Jonh J. Mearsheimer, “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault,” Foreign Affairs, September-October 2014,
  • Janet M. Hartley, “Is Russia Part of Europe? Russian Perceptions of Europe in the Reign of Alexander I,” Cahiers du Monde russe et soviétique, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1992), pp. 369-385, library electronic resources, JSTOR (15 pages)
  • Vladimir Putin's Speech at the Munich Security Conference, February 10, 2007,

Additional required reading

  • Further reading will be provided in the syllabus. If you like movies, here are the top 12 I would recommend on Russia
  • Burnt by the Sun (Утомлённые солнцем) by Nikita Mikhalkov, 1994
  • East-West by Régis Wargnier, 1999
  • Tycoon (Олигарх) by Paul Lungin, 2002
  • Brother (Брат 1&2) by Aleksei Balabanov, 1997
  • Window to Paris (Окно в Париж) by Yuri Mamin, 1993
  • The Irony of Fate (Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром 1&2) by Eldar Ryazanov, 1975
  • Leviathan (Левиатан) by Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2014
  • To Kill a Dragon (Убить дракона) by Mark Zakharov, 1988
  • Andrei Rublev by Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966
  • Ivan the Terrible by Sergei Eisenstein, 1944
  • Aleksandr Nevsky by Sergein Eisenstein, 1938
  • Pyotr Pervyi (Пётр Первый) by Vladimir Petrov, 1937