The course introduces the ideas and methods by which modern social sciences analyse current trends in public life, including with a view to its planning and design. The course audience is formed of socially active and conscious citizens, who wish to understand the working methods and logic behind the reasoning of professional intellectuals in modern Russia.
The course is formed of eight thematic blocks, each of which consists of six to eight lectures, accompanied by additional materials. The key issues that determined the content of the blocks are: how democracy works, how ideologies are formed, the organisation of the legal field, the purpose and function of the state, the ways history teaches us to understand the present, how economic relations are regulated, and the organisation of the society in which we live in. The final block of the lectures is devoted to some of the significant concepts that have become widespread in the social sciences over the past quarter century.
By using this course format, a sort of “dictionary” is assembled from the authors’ video lectures, to be used by the socially-responsible citizen of modern Russia. We strive to provide students with access not only to the facts but equally to the tools for their understanding and analysis. Social theory must be understandable if only for the people it seeks to describe to be able to trust it.