The 'Wild' Years: Russia in the 1990s

The line to get into the first McDonalds in Moscow, 1990

This 400-level seminar explores Russia’s first post-Soviet decade, tracing its transition from a communist system and planned economy to a ‘democratic’ state and market-capitalist economy. It examines Boris Yeltsin’s and his team of reformers’ policies of privatization and “shock therapy” and their fallout for Russian citizens’ living standards, as well as their role in the emergence of new political and economic elites. It also looks at the new consumer, sexual, and religious ‘marketplaces’ and individual and collective identities that emerged in these years. Finally, it examines how ordinary people experienced the tumultuous 1990s and how this helps to explain the rise of Vladimir Putin and ‘managed democracy’ in the 2000s.