Courses in foreign languages at the Faculty

Klaus Muller

Semester: all

Key words:


Course description:

In June 1990 the confrontation between the West and the East came to an end when U.S. President Bush declared: “The Cold War Is Over”. This surprising turn of history has been portrayed as a learning process leading from an essentialist to an interactionist perspective: The Soviet Union was no longer regarded as an essentially totalitarian state which could only be ‘contained’ by military means and eventually ‘rolled back’; the Soviet government was understood as one of the players in a costly threat game which was finally defused by mutual concessions.

All this changed in 2013. With the advent of the Ukrainian crisis, the old repertoire of Cold War stereotypes was back. The uprising on Kiev’s Maidan, a local event, has been framed as a clash of ‘European values’ and the expansionary nature of a revived ‘Russian autocracy’.  The danger of a new great war is written on the wall.

The course will reconstruct the developments and decisions which brought the much celebrated ‘Post-Cold War Order’ to an end and try to understand the implications for the future.

Schedule (all literature will be made available via dropbox)

Session 1 (March 5th, 2015 ): From Enemies to Partners. The U.S. and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s

Conversion Experience 1983: The Marble Archer Incident (BBC Documentary)

Garthoff 1994, 751-801.

Session 2 (March 12th, 2015): The “End of the Cold War” - Competing Interpretations

a. Herring 2008, 893-916; Cox 2008.

b. Bush Interview 1990 & New World Order Speech

Session 3 (March 19th, 2015): The ‘Cold War Victory’ View

a. Unipolar USA vs. a Multipolar World (Krauthammer 1991 and 2002)

b. A New American Century (Kagan 2002)

Session 4 (April 16th, 2015): Geopolitical Scenarios: Z. Brzezinski vs. S. Huntington

a. A New ‘Great Game’ in Russia’s Backyard? (Brzezinski 1997a and 1997b).

b. The Dangers of Complacency (Huntington 1999).

Session 5 (April 30th, 2015): A “New Cold War”? I

a. Confronting Russia (Cohen 2006 and 2010)

b. Loosing Russia (Arbatov 2007; Simes 2007)

Session 6 (May 21st, 2015): A “New Cold War” II: ‘Eternal Russia’?

a. New Cold Warriors I (Lucas 2008, Chapter 6 & 9)

b. Miscalculations (Chivers 2010)

Session 7 (May 28th, 2015): From Georgia to Ukraine?

a. New Cold Warriors II (Tymoshenko 1997; Kulish & Rhodin 2008; Wilson 2014,


b. Missed Lessons (Huntington 1996, 155-168; Tsygankov 2013; Beinart 2014).

Session 8 (Date will be announced): What Went Wrong? The Mearsheimer Controversy

a. Realism vs. Idealism (Mearsheimer 2014a, 2014 b; McFaul 2014, Sestanovich 2014).

b. Worse than a ‘New Cold War’ (Sakwa 2015)


  • Arbatov, Alexei 2007 - Is A New Cold War Imminent?, Russia in Global Affairs, No 2, 1-9.

  • Beinart, Peter 2014: The U.S. Doesn’t Need to Prove Itself in Ukraine, The Atlantic, May 2014.

  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew 1997a: The Grand Chessboard, New York: Basic Books

  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew 1997b: A Geostrategy for Eurasia, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 76, No. 5, 50-64.

  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew 2012: Strategic Vision. America & the Crisis of Global Power. Viking

  • Chivers, C.J. 2010 - Embracing Georgia, U.S. Misread Signs of Rifts, New York Times, December 1, 2010.

  • Cohen, Stephen F. 2006: The New American Cold War. The Nation, July 10, 9-17

  • Cohen, Stephen F. 2010: U.S.-Russian Relations in an Age of American Triumphalism, Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 63, No 2, 191-205.

  • Cooper, Helene 2008: Cold War Chill in McCain Remarks on Russia, New York Times, March 30.

  • Cooper, Helene et al. 2008: U.S. Watched as a Squabble Turned Into a Showdown, New York Times, August 18, 2008.

  • Cox, Michael 2007: Another Transatlantic Split? American and European Narratives and the End of the Cold War, Cold War History, Vol. 7, No 1, 121-146.

  • Garthoff, Raymond L. 1994: The Great Transition. American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War, New York: Brookings.

  • Green, James 2012: Russian Responses to NATO and EU Enlargement and Outreach, Chatham House Briefing Paper, June 2012.

  • Herring, George C. From Colony to Superpower, Oxford: OUP.

  • Huntington, Samuel 1996: The Clash of Civilizations, New York: Simon & Schuster.

  • Huntington, Samuel 1999: The Lonely Superpower, Foreign Affairs, March/April 1999, 35-49.

  • Kagan, Robert 2002: Power and Weekness, Policy Review, July 2002, 3-28

  • Kramer, Mark 2005: Gorbachev and the Demise of East European Communism, in Pons & Romero eds.: Reinterpreting the End of the Cold War, Cass., 179-200.

  • Krauthammer, Charles 1991: The Unipolar Moment, Foreign Affairs, 23-33.

  • Krauthammer, Charles 2003: The Unipolar Moment Revisted, The National Interest, Winter 2002/03, 5-17.

  • Kulish, Nicholas & Rhodin, Sara 2008: In Ukraine, Fear of Being a Resurgent Russia’s Next Target, New York Times, August 17, 2008

  • Lucas, Edward 2008: The New Cold War. Putin's Russia & the Threat to the West, New York: Palgrave.

  • Maier, Charles S. 2005: The Cold War as an Era of Imperial Rivalry, in Pons & Romero eds.: Reinterpreting the End of the Cold War, Cass., 13-20.

  • Matlock, Jack F. 2014: The U.S. Has Treated Russia Like a Loser Since the End of the Cold War, Washington Post, March 14.

  • Mearsheimer, John 2014a: Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 93, No 5, 77-89.

  • Mearsheimer, John 2014b: Reply. Foreign Affairs, Vol. 93, No 6, 175-178.

  • McFaul, Michael 2014: Moscow's Choice, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 93, No 6, 167-171.

  • Pipes, Richard 1995: Misinterpreting the Cold War. The Hard Liners Had It Right, Foreign Affairs, Jan./Febr., 154-160.

  • Sakwa, Richard 2014: Frontline Ukraine, London: Tauris.

  • Sestanovich, Stephen 2014: How the West Has Won, Foreign Affairs, , Vol. 93 No 6, 171-175.

  • Simes, Dimitri 2007: Losing Russia. The Costs of Renewed Confrontation, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86, No. 6, 36-52.

  • Spanger, Hans-Joachim 2008: Power without Purpose –George W. Bush’s Failed Policy towards Russia, International Politics & Society, 2/2008, 50-69

  • Trenin, Dmitri 2014: Welcome to Cold War II, Foreign Policy, March.

  • Tsygankov, Andrei 2013: The Russia-NATO Mistrust, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 46, Nos. 1-2, June 2013.

  • Tymoshenko, Yuliya 2007: Containing Russia, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86, No. 3, 69-82

  • Wilson, Andrew 2014:  Ukraine Crisis. What It Means for the West, New Haven: Yale University Press

Grading system:

All participantsare expected to read the assigned literature in advance of the sessionsand to contribute to thediscussions. Participation is obligatory.

Presentation(15 to 20 minutes): students form groups to prepare a specific session (starting with session 2). The presentations (which should come with short outlines of 1-2 pages) should sketch the main theses of the specified readings, identify different opinions on the topic under discussion, raise questions and/or articulate problems of understanding. Personal statements are especially welcome. Connections to earlier sessions should be pointed out. The discussion will take the form of a conversation between the group, the plenum and the instructor.

Essays- due date: according the general policy of the summer programme.All written essays should be submitted directly to me (or via e-mail). Topics have to be chosen from the schedule and should refer to the proposed literature. Written assignments are due on the date stipulated and it is not our policy to grant extensions except for illness or equivalent reasons. Length of Essays: 10-12 pp.

Plagiarism is an extremely serious academic offence. Written work from students which is not original in conception, organization and phrasing will not be accepted. The borrowing of material from other sources, whether in the form of direct quotation or paraphrasing, must be acknowledged. Direct quotations must be identified with quotation marks and referenced. When you follow someone's ideas closely, or when you use specific information from a primary source (e.g., a government document) or a secondary source (e.g., a book or journal article), the source must be referenced. Failure to make such acknowledgement will make written work ineligible for grading. Serious offences will result in a grade of zero.


  • Essay :50%

  • Presentation (20min.): 25%

  • Discussion: 15%

  • Class Participation: 10%