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SEMESTER PROGRAMS  / READINGS FOR THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST
04.02.2015


Readings for The Russian Far East
A course from The School of Russian and Asian Studies
and
Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service (VSUES)

The following textbooks are recommended reading for The Russian Far East, a study abroad course offered by The School of Russian and Asian Studies in partnership with Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service (VSUES). Most reading for this course will be provided by books and articles made available by the university. You may click on the title for a link to the books' pages on Amazon. You should take care to acquire any books before your departure to Russia.

Bringing laptop, netbook, or iPad is additionally highly recommended for all students. This will also make doing research, writing papers, maintaining your required journal, and staying in touch with friends and family back home that much easier. For more on taking your computer abroad, click here.

Recommended Reading:

 
 The Russian
Far East

Far Eastern National University is located in Vladivostok, a major military and naval base A wide look at the military importance, resources, volatile demographics, and international neighbors of one of Russia's least developed regions.

Russia's Far East: A Region at Risk
Judith Thornton (Editor), Charles E. Ziegler (Editor)

This book comprehensively assesses the relationships among the economic collapse of the region; the post-Cold War role of Asia in Russia's security policy; trends in Russia's center-regional relations that impact tax collection, resource extraction, the military, and other issues; Russia's ability to manage potential areas of conflict like the maintenance of the nuclear fleet, nuclear dumping of radioactive materials in the Sea of Japan, and illegal migration from China; and, the shifting balance of power in Asia.In this title, an interdisciplinary team of specialists from the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and Korea discuss the historical, political, and economic contexts, as well as the strategic implications, of these developments. The contributors address the vital questions of how to achieve a stable political order in the Russian Far East, how to develop economic growth in the region, and how to promote efforts to link Russia and the Asia-Pacific powers into a cooperative framework of diplomatic relations.

The Russian Far East: A Reference Guide for Conservation and Development
By Josh Newell

This is the most comprehensive English-language reference text on the region to be published in the more than ten years. With contributions from an interdisciplinary team of ninety specialists from Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, the book overviews and analyzes the region’s geography and ecology, natural resources, major industries, infrastructure, foreign trade, demographics, protected area system, and legal structure. Particular attention is devoted to how to region can develop in an environmentally sustainable way. The book is divided into eleven chapters. The first chapter summarizes the RFE as a whole, while each of the remaining ten chapters deal with an administrative region within the Russian Far East. All of the chapters are divided into identical sections to simplify comparison among the regions. More than fifty maps, a number of which are in color, detail administrative districts and indigenous peoples' lands, protected areas, mineral deposits, timber resources, fisheries, and energy reserves. Tables and figures provide the reader with a wealth of useful, hard-to-find statistics. Color and black and white photographs.

 

Settlers on the Edge: Identity and Modernization on Russia's Arctic Frontier
By Niobe Thompson

Based on extensive research in the Arctic Russian region of Chukotka, Settlers on the Edge is the first English-language account of settler life anywhere in the circumpolar north to appear since Robert Paine's The White Arctic (1977), and the first to describe the experience of Soviet migrants in the Russian Arctic. Covering a span from the beginning of mass settlement in the 1950s to the present day, Niobe Thompson's ethnography is based on settler life-histories, archival research, and close participant observation over five years. Following a description of the high modernist project of Northern settlement in the Soviet years, Settlers on the Edge offers a unique portrait of an oligarchic "take-over" in the contemporary Russian Arctic. This original treatment of an almost unknown subject powerfully challenges the image of the indifferent and transient "newcomer" evident in the existing anthropology of the Arctic. Settlers on the Edge describes the remarkable transformation of a population once dedicated to establishing colonial power on a northern frontier into a rooted community of "locals" now resisting a renewed colonial project. Thompson provides unique insight into the future of identity politics in the Arctic, the role of resource capital and the oligarchs in the Russian provinces, and the fundamental human questions of belonging and transcience.

 

Optional Reading (Free Articles):
SRAS thanks Dr. Judith Thornton of the University of Washington, one of America's foremost experts on the Russian Far East, for her assistance in compiling this list.   

Russia’s Far East Dilemma
By Natasha Doff

A recent article from The Moscow News about the current state of the region and development projects underway there.

Russia Courts the East Instead of the West
By Courtney Weaver

A recent article from The Financial Times about Russia's trade relations with Asia, how this might affect the Russian Far East, and be affected by the challenges of Russia's Far East.

Russian Draft Law on Special Economic Zones
By Valentin Povarchuk

"Taking a cue from China's successful use of special economic zones as a means to encourage economic reform, some Russian policy-makers have proposed special economic zones as a means to encourage development. Russia's early laws establishing special economic zones, however, did not produce self-sustaining results due to a lack of appropriate legal and physical infrastructures, as well as political and economic instability."

China's Energy and Security Relations with Russia
By Linda Jakobson, Paul Holtom, Dean Knox, Jingchao Peng

This study illuminates the current status of and likely prospects for China-Russia relations. It draws on open-source analyses published by Chinese specialists and research interviews. The authors conclude that while these two countries will remain pragmatic 'partners of convenience', the foundation of their relationship over the past decades is eroding and Russia's significance to China will continue to diminish.

The Far East Between Russia, China, and America
By Rens Lee

Holding just 4.4 percent of Russia’s population and contributing a mere 5.6 percent to the country’s GDP, the Russian Far East remains a weak and underdeveloped backwater. The RFE’s geographical situation is precarious: remote from and poorly connected to Russia’s European core and uncomfortably close to dynamic and ambitious outside powers, most notably China. In broader geopolitical terms, Moscow’s authority continues to rest mainly on its political-military presence in the RFE-its industrial and financial footprint in that part of the world to date is essentially insignificant. The non-security components of power, however, have great modern day significance, and ultimately will determine whether Moscow can successfully retain real sovereignty over the RFE, or whether the interplay of outside forces will increasingly dominate the region’s economic and political future.

True Partners? How Russia and China See Each Other
By Dmitri Trenin

This report compares Russian and Chinese security perceptions and explains how they shape the two countries’ policies towards each other. It argues that the modern relationship between the two countries, formed in the late 19th and 20th centuries, was turned on its head at the start of the 21st century.

Institutional Change and Economic Development in Siberia and the Russian Far East
By Judith Thornton

This paper studies the institutions for exercise of property rights in forestry, fisheries, and mining in Siberia and the Russian Far East, linking current arrangements with the administrative structures of the command era.  It describes production, income, and structural change in Asian Russia arguing that if Russia hopes to rely on the rapid growth of Asia as a locomotive for Russian growth, then then the government will need to develop a legal framework for long-run property rights in resources and to establish stronger links for business cooperation with all of the countries of Asia and, particularly, with China, Japan, and South Korea.

 


 


 

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