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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Volodmyr Dubovyk
JSIS 589
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Course content varies. Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty.

Class description

“Security dynamics in the post-Soviet space”

More than twenty years have passed since the Soviet Union ceased to exist. These years have been characterized by specific dynamics in the sphere of national and regional security, and foreign and defense policy. The most dominant power in the region – Russia – had clearly gone through some turmoil in its search for its regional role and security identity. Ukraine has gone through endless (and still ongoing) fluctuations regarding its security role in the region. Belarus has remained in a “grey area” of the post-Soviet zone, choosing the politics of self-isolation. Moldova has not resolved its most existential problem – Transnistria – but yet has moved decidedly closer to “Europe” in the recent times. The South Caucasus has seen not-so-frozen conflicts, outright military confrontations and remains an insecure, unstable area. The North Caucasus, being a part of Russia, has proved once and again that this is a powder keg of a tremendous explosive potential. Finally, Central Asia has demonstrated absolute insecurity, with challenges ranging from poverty to corruption to authoritarianism. This course will take a broad and comprehensive approach to security studies, including analysis of various types of threats and challenges – both conventional and unconventional.

“Security Dynamics in the Post-Soviet Space” (JSIS 489/589):

More than twenty years have passed since the Soviet Union ceased to exist. These years have been characterized by specific dynamics in the sphere of national and regional security, and foreign and defense policy. The most dominant power in the region – Russia – had clearly gone through some turmoil in its search for its regional role and security identity. Ukraine has gone through endless (and still ongoing) fluctuations regarding its security role in the region. Belarus has remained in a “grey area” of the post-Soviet zone, choosing the politics of self-isolation. Moldova has not resolved its most existential problem – Transnistria – but yet has moved decidedly closer to “Europe” in the recent times. The South Caucasus has seen not-so-frozen conflicts, outright military confrontations and remains an insecure, unstable area. The North Caucasus, being a part of Russia, has proved once and again that this is a powder keg of a tremendous explosive potential. Finally, Central Asia has demonstrated absolute insecurity, with challenges ranging from poverty to corruption to authoritarianism. This course will take a broad and comprehensive approach to security studies, including analysis of various types of threats and challenges – both conventional and unconventional.

"European/Euroatlantic Security and the Former Soviet Union" (JSIS 489/589): This course will look at the post-Soviet space in the broader emerging architecture of European and Euroatlantic security. It will look at this interaction from both sides: the EU and NATO on one hand, and the influence of the former Soviet Union (FSU) on Euroatlantic security on the other. First, the course will look at the transformations that the EU and NATO have undergone since the early 1990s. Attention will be given to their search for a mission in the post-Cold war world, including developments in their foreign, security and defense policies. Then, a focus will shift to issues related to the eastern dimension of EU and NATO policies and their interaction with the partners in the FSU. Finally, there will be an examination of how the EU and NATO are seen from the perspective of the key players in the post-Soviet space, the features of the relationship between them, and how actors in the FSU area see their roles within a broader European and Euroatlantic security spaces.

Student learning goals

For Security Dynamics in the Post-Soviet Space: Students will know more about the current security transformations in the post-Soviet space, the nature and types of security threats and challenges in this area, will see what role belongs to particular post-Soviet states in shaping the security landscape of this area, and will learn what role belongs to the so-called “frozen conflicts” in security of the post-Soviet space

For “European/Euroatlantic security and the former Soviet Union”: Students will know more about the current stage in the evolution of the Euroatlantic security system and role that NATO plays, will know more about the current stage in the evolution of the European security system and role that EU plays, will see what role belongs to NATO and EU in the post-Soviet space and how they both interact with major players in that space, and will learn what policies and strategies the countries of the former Soviet Union have with regard to NATO and EU.

General method of instruction

For both courses: lecture, class discussion, preparing response papers and a policy memo

Recommended preparation

For "Security Dynamics in the Post-Soviet Space": Basic knowledge about the former Soviet Union is needed.

For “European/Euroatlantic security and the former Soviet Union”: Basic knowledge about NATO and EU, and the former Soviet Union is needed

Class assignments and grading

For both courses: • Response papers analyzing and critiquing reading • Policy memo analyzing a current topic and making recommendations to an influential decision maker (5-7 pp.)

For both courses: • Response papers—30% (3 papers; 10% per each paper) • Class participation—25% • Policy memo—30% • Oral presentation of the memo – 15%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mark E Di Virgilio
Date: 01/28/2013