Week 9 Assignment: Mid-Term Research Paper Readings: NONE Assignment One of One:
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Week 9 Assignment: Mid-Term Research Paper
Assignment One of One:
Research and write a 7-9 page research paper on one of the following topics. Address one of the following topics in your paper:
Topic 1: Gorbachev launched a reform program to renew the Soviet Union. Why did it conclude with the collapse of the USSR? Using Gorbachev’s catchphrases (glasnost’ [openness], perestroika [restructuring], demokratiya [democracy], and novoe myshlenie [new thinking]), trace the key events in his reform program from 1985 to 1991. In the end, describe why the USSR collapsed. What, in your view, caused this event to occur? What have been the ramifications of the Soviet collapse?
Topic 2: Describe the Russian political parties that have made it into the Duma. What conditions facilitated the rise of these parties? What has been the trajectory these parties have followed since the 1993 parliamentary elections? What is the current party configuration in the Duma? Do these parties serve the needs of democratization in Russia?
Topic 3: Describe Russia’s super-presidential system, setting out by analyzing the powers and prerogatives of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. How are the chambers of the Federal Assembly elected? How does Russia select the president (since 1991)? Has the judiciary system been an effective check on the executive and legislature? Do you think Russia’s system is stable? Why or why not?
Topic 4: According to its 1993 Constitution, Russia is a federation. What is a federal state, and how does it compare to unitary states? How does the ethnic factor play out in the Russian federal framework? Describe the Russian majority’s role, and that of two minority nationalities which have some kind of ethnic unit. Do you think post-Soviet Russia will follow the Soviet path? Why or why not?
This paper must have the following characteristics:
1. Be 7-9 pages in length. Title page and reference page do not count towards the total.
2. Be written in a common font, 11 to 12 points.
3. Be double-spaced.
4. Properly sized pictures/graphs are welcome (but are optional), but must be described in the text.
5. Will cite references internally and provide a list of references in a common citation style (whatever you are familiar with; if you are not familiar with one, visit the following website: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/
6. Will answer the question or provide information and analysis on the topic. A paper composed of recited facts without critical thought will not be looked upon favorably.