The Mongol empire was the only political system in history to include Russia, China and practically everybody in between. The course begins with an examination of the life and times of Chinggis Khan, how he unified the Mongol nation and initiated nearly a century of conquests over major parts of Asia and Europe. The Mongols ruled most of Asia (except for the Indian subcontinent) during the medieval era, keeping Russia insulated from Western Europe to develop its unique character and providing an environment within which Moscow created the successor State. Mongol conquests and rule over Central Asia, Russia, China, and Korea established a pattern of multi-ethnic, multicultural hegemonic States which was assimilated in State forms for centuries, with implications for twentieth century Communism. In addition to geographical, economic, cultural and social dimensions of the Mongol empire, military and political factors will also be examined. A Theory of Anthropocentric Security will provide a unifying framework for analysis. The course consists of lectures and discussions, with a mid-term and final examination. Students will write one research paper.
Student learning goals
1. Historical setting and events of Mongol state formation and establishment of Mongol empire
2. understand Asian medieval globalization in contrast to European feudalism.
3. Contrast between nomadic/pastoral and agrarian societies in Asia
4. Analysis of state formation in Russia
5. Anthropocentric Security Theory and its application to medieval Asia.
6. Impact of Chinese culture on Mongolia and Mongolian impact on Russia and Central Asia.
General method of instruction
Lectures and structured discussions, based on instructor’s questions.
Previous courses on Russian or Asian history, politics and culture.
Class assignments and grading
[REB] Weekly discussion questions based on lectures and readings.
· One book review 10% · Class participation/Lecture questions 20% · Midterm exam 10% · Research paper 30% · Final (or paper) 30%