PROGRAM DETAILS

Autocracy in Bloom:

Moscow and Beijing

Instructor
Andrew Kahn
Category
International Relations / Current Events
WPL01314

Course Description

The Russian Federation has been headed by elected autocrat Vladimir Putin since the year 2000. He and his "siloviki" (cronies) have centralized power and authority in the Kremlin. The regime is corrupt and corrupting. Elections are orchestrated, ballot boxes stuffed. Opponents risk their lives when speaking out in favor of government reforms and democratic candidates for office. Putin's word is law, and the law has become his weapon of choice. An outstanding example of Russian government repression was the jailing of Oligarch Mikhail Khordokovsky for using private funds to support anti-Putin, pro-democracy political candidates. For this transgression, Khordokovsky received ten years in a Siberian prison and was deported to Switzerland when his sentence concluded. The People's Republic of China is led by President Xi Jinping. After being chosen by the leadership of the CCP (the only political party allowed) he began a crackdown of his political enemies under the guise of an anti-corruption campaign. Following the arrest of thousands, high and low, Xi declared his intention to remain in office indefinitely, replicating the pattern of Mao. President Xi has now assumed control over all major aspects of the Chinese government and Communist party. Opposition journalists, human rights lawyers, and ethnic minorities have been severely repressed. Much of the internet is blocked, and newspapers and TV are heavily censored.

About the Instructor

  • Andrew Kahn has studied political and social science at Johns Hopkins University, the Universities Pittsburgh and Maryland, and the New School University in New York. He has taught at St. Cloud University in Minnesota and Western Connecticut University in Danbury. Andrew was a James Madison Fellow in Constitutional Law at Indiana University, and a Fellow in American and European History at Swarthmore and Haverford Colleges in Pennsylvania. Andrew helped found AEGIS, the Association for Education in Global-International Studies at Stanford University. He is a world traveler and has lectured at FAU since 2006.