Contemporary Russian Parlamentarianism

Moscow State Institute for International Relations

Faculty of Political Science / Department of Philosophy

Contemporary Russian Parliamentarianism


Course Description and Objectives

The course is to enhance the postgraduates’ knowledge of the traditions and practices of Russian representative institutions (the Zemskie Sobors of the 16th and 17th centuries, the pre-revolutionary State Duma, the USSR Supreme Soviet, the Congresses of People’s Deputies of both the USSR and Russia, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation). The integral part of the course are practical tasks aimed at mastering advanced techniques of parliamentary research (the spectrum of political forces, roll calls, legislative acts, parliamentary rhetoric etc.).

Course Summary

Part I. History and Traditions of Political Representation in Russia: The idea o fpolitical representation in Russian political culture. – Representative institutions of Medieval Muscovy. – The Russian pre-revolutionary parliamentarianism. – Representative institutions of Soviet Russian and the USSR. – Representative institutions of perestroika.

Part II. Representative Institutions of Contemporary Russia: Parliamentary activities in the Russian Federation and their legal framework. – The institutional design of the contemporary Russian parliament. – Political parties in contemporary Russia. – Deputy associations (factions and deputy groups) of the State Duma.

Part III. Techniques of Parliamentary Research: Parliamentary research in contemporary Russia (conditions, goals and resources). – The spectrum of political forces as represented in the State Duma (methods of analysis) – Roll calls analysis. – Parliamentary discourse analysis.


Principal reading

In English

  • Biryukov N. and Sergeyev V. Russian Politics in Transition: Institutional Conflict in a Nascent Democracy, AldershotBrookfieldSingaporeSidney: Ashgate, 1997 (Leeds Studies in Democratization).
  • Sergeyev V. and Biryukov N. Russia's Road to Democracy: Parliament, Communism and Traditional Culture, Aldershot (Hants): Edward Elgar, 1993 (Studies of Communism in Transition).

In Russian

  • Biryukov N. and Sergeyev V. Stanovlenie institutov predstavitel’noy vlasti v sovremennoy Rossii [The Making of Representative Institutions in Contemporary Russia], Moscow: AgentstvoIzdatel’skiy servis”, 2004.

Supplementary reading

In English

  • Sakwa R. Russian Politics and Society, LondonNew York: Routledge, 1993.
  • Vanneman P. Politics and the Legislative Process in the Soviet Political System, Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1977.

In Russian

  • Cherepnin L. Zemskie sobory Russkogo gosudarstva v XVI-XVII vv. [The Zemskie Sobors of the Russian State in the 16th-17th centuries; in Russian], Moscow: Nauka, 1978.

Instructor: Nikolai Biryukov, PhD