Plir 3770. American-Russian Relations. Mr. Lynch Summer Session I, May 18-June 13, 2015



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PLIR 3770. American-Russian Relations.

Mr. Lynch

Summer Session I, May 18-June 13, 2015.

10:30am-12:45 pm, Gibson 242


This course presents an overview of American-Russian relations. The course is organized along the following lines: historical patterns, cold war legacies, and contemporary issues.

Books for Purchase (available at the University bookstore):
David Foglesong, The American Mission and the Evil Empire

Melvyn Leffler, The Spectre of Communism

John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War. A New History

Vladislav Zubok, A Failed Empire

Angela Stent, The Limits of Partnership
All other readings are available on the course Collab site.
There will be three take-home essay assignments, as indicated in the schedule of classes below. The first two will each count for 25% each of your final grade, with the final essay counting for 50%. Work will be evaluated according to the extent that it reflects command of the readings and lectures, displays a coherent and incisive analytical faculty, and exhibits sound and original judgment. To receive the grade of A, work will have to be adjudged excellent on all of these criteria. Please remember, the grade of B denotes “good” work. All assignments are open-note, open-book.

Schedule of Classes
Monday, May 18. Introduction to the Course. Historical Patterns, 1775-1881.

Read: J.L. Gaddis, Russia, the Soviet Union & the United States, pp. 1-56 (Collab); N.N. Bolkhovitinov, Rejection of Alliance with England (Collab); T. Bailey, America Faces Russia, pp. 189-227 (Collab).

Tuesday, May 19. Historical Patterns, 1881-1917. The Impact of the Russian Revolution.

Read: D. Foglesong, The American Mission & the Evil Empire, pp. 7-59; Gaddis (Collab), pp. 57-86; M. Leffler, The Specter of Communism, pp. 3-32; J. Jacobson, Ideological & Political Foundations (Collab).

Wednesday, May 20. The Interwar Years, 1920-1941.

Read: Foglesong, pp. 60-81; Gaddis (Collab), pp. 87-118; Bailey (Collab), pp. 251-161; R. Browder, Origins of Soviet-American Relations, pp. 3-48 (Collab).

Thursday, May 21. The Second World War, 1941-1945.

Read: Foglesong, pp. 83-128; V. Zubok, A Failed Empire, pp. 1-28; Gaddis (Collab), pp. 147-174 (Collab).

Friday, May 22. Origins of the Cold War.

Read: Leffler, pp. 33-96; Zubok, pp. 29-93; J.L. Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History, pp. 5-47; E.H. Carr, The Soviet Impact on the Western World (Collab).



A take-home assignment will be distributed; it is due in class on Tuesday, May 26.

Tuesday, May 26. The Cold War International System.

Read: Gaddis, The Cold War, pp. 48-118, 156-194; Zubok, pp. 62-122; Leffler, pp. 97-130; Foglesong, pp. 129-154; G. Stone, Cold War: the Scaremongers (Collab).

Wednesday, May 27. Toward the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Read: Zubok, pp. 123-191; W. Taubman, Khrushchev, ch. 19 (Collab); G. Allison & P. Zelikow, Essence of Decision (Collab).

Thursday, May 28. Showing of the Film, “Thirteen Days.”



Students will write a critique of the film in light of relevant readings in the course. The critique is due in class on Monday, June 1.

Friday, May 29. Détente.

Read: Gaddis, Cold War, pp. 119-155; Zubok, pp. 192-226; Foglesong, pp. 155-173; R. Garthoff, Détente & Confrontation (Collab).

Monday, June 1. Human Rights and the Collapse of Détente, 1977-1981.

Read: Zubok, pp. 227-264; J. Haslam, Impact of Vietnam (Collab); M. Leffler, For the Soul of Mankind (Collab).

Tuesday, June 2. Reagan and Gorbachev: Testing the Victory Thesis.

Read: Foglesong, pp. 174-95; Zubok, pp. 265-344; Gaddis, The Cold War, pp. 195-236; J. Matlock, A Common Agenda (Collab).

Wednesday, June 3. Ending the Cold War, 1987-1991.

Read: Gaddis, Cold War, pp. 237-266; A. Stent, Limited Partnership, pp. 1-12; J. Goldgeier & M. McFaul, Power and Purpose, pp. 18-58; M. Haas, The United States & the End of the Cold War (Collab).

Thursday, June 4. The Liberal Moment in American-Russian Relations, 1992-1996.

Read: Foglesong, pp. 196-229; J. Stiglitz, Who Lost Russia? (Collab); S. Mendelsohn, Democratic Assistance & Political Transition in Russia (Collab);

Friday, June 5. Return to Realism: NATO Expansion and its Consequences.

Read: A. Lynch, The Realism of Russian Foreign Policy (Collab); Stent, pp. 13-48; S. Cohen, A Failed Crusade (Collab); W. Zimmerman, The Russian People & Foreign Policy (Collab).

Monday, June 8. Impact of September 11, 2001 on American-Russian Relations.

Read:Stent, pp. 49-96; L. Shevtsova, Lost in Transition, chapters 18-21 (Collab); T. Ambrosio, Russo-American Dispute over Iraq (Collab).

Tuesday, June 9. The Road to War in Georgia.

Read: Stent, pp. 97-176.

Wednesday, June 10. The Obama Reset: Achievements and Limits.

Read: Stent, pp. 177-234; A. Kuchins, The Obama Administration’s Reset Button (Collab).

Thursday, June 11. Anti-Americanism in Russian Politics and Foreign Policy.

Read: D. Treisman & A. Shleifer, Why Russia Says No (Collab); A. Tsygankov, Russophobia (Collab); D. Trenin, Russia Leaves the West (Collab); T. Ambrosio, Insulating Russia from a Color Revolution (Collab).
Friday, June 11. The Ukraine Crisis in American-Russian Relations.

Read: J. Mearsheimer, Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault (Collab); Robert Legvold, “Managing the New Cold War,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014, at: www.foreignaffairs.com/issues/2014/93/4; Alexander Lukin, “What the Kremlin is Thinking,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014, at: www.foreignaffais.com/issues/2014/94/4; and Andrew Wilson, “The High Stakes of the Ukraine Crisis;” Samuel Sharap and Jeremy Shapiro, “How to Avoid a New Cold War,” both in Current History, October 2014 issue.



A final take-home essay will be distributed. It is due at my office (397 Gibson) by 1 pm, Saturday, June 13.


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