This course offers an introduction to Russian national security and defense policy. The lectures and readings will be organized into three modules, focusing on how Russia has managed the competing challenges of (1) economic development, (2) internal security, and (3) relations with other actors in the international system. Our attention will be on the interaction between these policy domains over different periods of Russian history —Tsarist, Soviet, and contemporary — with an emphasis on how the legacy of the past has shaped and constrained Russian national security decision-making. Topics covered will include: territorial and imperial expansion, serfdom, collectivization, industrialization, mass repression, counter-insurgency, military doctrine and organization, post-Soviet economic transition, energy and natural resources, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Course readings will draw on literature from various disciplines, including political science, economics, and history. Class meetings will place a heavy emphasis on student participation and activity-based learning through surveys, games, simulations and debates.