The Decline & Fall of the Soviet Empire

Subject 131-083 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of first-year history, or first year European studies.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Erica Mehrtens
Phone: x45962
Subject Overview: This subject considers several important aspects of Soviet history, from the death of Stalin in 1953 to the period of administrative reform and de-Stalinisation under Khrushchev; from the period of stagnation and de-Stalinisation under Brezhnev to the period of Glasnost under Gorbachev; and continuing to the August 1991 Coup and its aftermath. On completion of the subject students should have an improved appreciation and knowledge of the growth of the Soviet state and economy in the postwar period, the unsuccessful attempts at reform and the reasons for the fall of Soviet Communism in December 1991.
  • be able to understand the nature of late Soviet Communism (after the Death of Stalin), the reasons for the failure of the attempts to reform it, and the reasons for the fall of Soviet Communism in December 1991.
Assessment: A research essay of 2400 words 54% (due mid semester), a reflective essay of 1600 words 36% (due at the end of semester) and tutorial participation 10%.
Prescribed Texts:
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;
  • demonstrate understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (History)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval && Early Modern Studies Major
European Studies
History Major

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