Northern Illinois University

                                                       Department of Political Science



Fall 2003                                                                                  Prof. L. Kamenitsa

MW 2-3:15                                                                              Office: Zulauf 310; 753-7053

DuSable 246                                                                            Office Hours:  M 12:30-1:30 & 

                                                                                                            M 3:30-4:30 & by appt.




1) White, Stephen. 2001. Communism & its Collapse New York: Routledge.


2) White, Stephen, Judy Batt, and Paul Lewis. 2003. Developments in Central and East European Politics 3. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


3) Required articles and book chapters are also assigned.  Most are available on-line via Blackboard, Electronic Reserve, or other means.  A few are only are available at the Founders Library Reserve Desk.  Most of these required readings and the means of accessing them are indicated in the syllabus.  Additional readings will be announced in class or on Blackboard.


4) Depending on political developments in the region this semester, students may also be assigned news media articles to be read in preparation for class discussion.  It’s generally a good idea for students in political science courses to monitor the news on a daily basis, preferably a newspaper of record, like the New York Times, in print or on its web site.


All reading assignments should be completed before the class period for which they are assigned. In the event that a student might miss a class, she or he is still responsible for any assignments or schedule changes given during that class period. The required texts are available at the University Bookstore in HSC, the Village Commons Bookstore, and on amazon.com.




Exam I    (10/15)                      30%

Exam II   (12/8)                        30%

Briefing Paper I (11/5)              15%

Briefing Paper II (11/12)           15%

Participation                             10%



There will be two exams for the course.  Each exam will draw primarily on material from the preceding part of the course.  However, Exam II may require you to draw on materials from the course as a whole in your assessments of politics in Eastern Europe.  Exam format will include essays, objective items, and short answer questions.  THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP EXAMS GIVEN, except in cases of emergencies and then only at the discretion of the professor. If there are any problems or conflicts, see the professor well in advance of the exam.



A recurring theme of this course concerns the roles played by nationalism and ethnic divisions in the politics of Central and East Europe. To help us better understand these issues and the challenges they can raise, the class will undertake two in-class simulations dealing with events in Kosovo. The first will deal with the Kosovo crisis in 1998-1999 and the second with the current situation in the region.   Small teams of students will be assigned the “roles” of various interested parties.  Individual students will conduct research on and write briefing papers about their party’s positions, goals, and motivations for each simulation.  During the in-class simulation, each team will represent their party’s position in negotiations with all other teams.  Details of the assignment will be provided in class or on Blackboard.


NOTE: All written assignments must be typed.  Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the specified date.  This means that work turned in after 2:05 on the due date will be considered late.  Late assignments will be penalized one third of a grade for each 24 hour period they are late (A- becomes B+).  Late work may be turned in to the main Political Science office (Zulauf 315) during regular business hours. Students doing so should request a dated and timed receipt from the office staff. Work turned in more than one week late will be accepted only at the discretion of the professor.




The class will consist of lectures and discussions.  While the majority of the participation grade will be based on the student’s work on the simulations, a portion will reflect general participation in other class meetings.  Students will have ample opportunity to participate in making the course interesting and relevant.  Students' comments and questions on readings, lectures, and current events are welcome and encouraged. 




            Most of the assignments, reading questions, and communication for this course will be conducted through the university’s Blackboard Course Server.  It is like a course website that can be accessed through the internet, but only by students enrolled in this course.  The web address for Blackboard at NIU is http://webcourses.niu.edu. You will need your student Z-ID and password to log into Blackboard. If you have questions about Blackboard or logging in, go to http://www.helpdesk.niu.edu/ and click on “Blackboard.” The system uses your NIU student e-mail account (your Z-number account) as the default e-mail address.  If you wish to receive course-related e-mails at another address, you need to log in to Blackboard immediately and edit your personal settings to indicate which e-mail address you want to use. Otherwise you will not receive communications sent to all students. Do that today!  Blackboard sometimes goes down unexpectedly.  Do not wait until the last minute to access materials you need on Blackboard.  For example, a Blackboard outage the night before an assignment is due will NOT be an acceptable excuse an incomplete assignment.  Contact ITS (753-8100) with login problems.


Any student found guilty of cheating or plagiarizing can receive an "F" for the assignment or exam and the course.  Criteria for these offenses are described in the Student Judicial Code and the Undergraduate Catalog. 




COURSE SCHEDULE: (Any changes will be announced in class or on Blackboard)


White = Stephen White, Communism and its Collapse

WBL = White, Batt, & Lewis, Developments in Central and East European Politics 3.





WEEK 1    Introduction

8/25 & 8/27

            Required Readings:      

                  Batt, “Introduction” in WBL (pp. 3-22)

                  White,  Chs. 1-2 (pp. 1-20)



WEEK 2    Communism in East Central Europe: Origins, Operation, Decay...

9/3 (no class on 9/1 - Labor Day)


            Required Readings:      

                  White, Ch. 3 (pp. 21-30)



WEEK 3     ... Collapse

9/8 & 9/10

            Required Readings:      

                  White, Chs. 4-5 (pp. 30-52)



WEEK 4    The 1989 Revolutions

9/15 & 9/17

            Required Readings:      

                  White, Chs. 6-8 (pp. 52-82)

                  Stokes, Gale. 1993. “The Glorious Revolutions of 1989.” In The Walls Came Tumbling Down. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp.131-167. (electronic reserve)



WEEK 5    Political and Economic Systems in Transition

9/22 & 9/24

            Required Readings:

                  Blazyca, “Managing Transition Economies” in WBL (pp. 213-233)

                  Jasiewicz, “Elections and Voting Behavior” in WBL (pp. 173-189)

                  Millard, “Poland” in WBL (pp. 23-20)

                  Williams, “The Czech Republic and Slovakia” in WBL (pp. 41-56)


WEEK 6   Political and Economic Systems in Transition (continued...)

9/29 & 10/1

            Required Readings:      

                  Kopecky, “Structures of Representation” in WBL (pp. 133-152)

                  Lewis, “Political Parties” in WBL (pp.153-172)

                  Is democracy working? The Economist v. 359 (June 23 2001) p. 45-6 (Blackboard)



WEEK 7    Politics, Inequality, and Social Change

10/6 & 10/8


            Required Readings:      

                  Cox, “Changing Societies: Class and Inequality in Central and Eastern Europe” in WBL (pp. 234-252)

                  “Poverty in Eastern Europe.” The Economist v. 356 (September 23, 2000) pp.27-30 (Blackboard)



WEEK 8     Women and Gender


10/15  ****Exam I ****


            Required Readings:      

                  LaFont, Suzanne. “One step forward, two steps back: women in the post-communist states.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies v. 34 no2 (June  2001) p. 203-20. (electronic reserve)

                  Simerska, Lenka. 2000. Sexual Harassment In Central And Eastern Europe.  Women's International Network News 26,2 (2000): 63 (Blackboard)

                  Sarnavka, Sanja,  Kristina Mihalec, Nevenka Sudar. 2002. “Croatia: Feminists campaign against sexist images of women appearing in the media and sexism in politics”  Off Our Backs 32, 3-4:13-18. (Blackboard)


WEEK 9      Social Ills (continued) and Ethnic Politics

10/20 & 10/22


            Required Readings:      

                  Fodor, Eva, Christy Glas, Janette Kawachi, and Livia Popescu. 2002. “Family Policies and Gender in Hungary, Poland, and Romania.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 35,4 (December): 369-490. (electronic reserve)

                  Jeszensky, Geza. 1997. "More Bosnias? National and Ethnic Tensions in the Post-Communist World" East European Quarterly 31,3 (September): 283-298. (Blackboard)

                  Singh, Anita. “Democracy does it” World Today 58, no. 7 (Jul 2002): p. 22-24 (Blackboard)





WEEK 10   The Former Yugoslavia: A Post-Communist Tragedy

10/27 & 10/29


            Required Readings:      

                  “The Republics of the Former Yugoslavia.” 2003. Global Studies: Russia, the Eurasian Republics, and Central/Eastern Europe. Guilford, CT: Mc-Graw-Hill/Dushkin. Pp. 170-191. (electronic reserve)

                  Gallagher, Tom. “The Balkans since 1989: The Winding Retreat from National Communism” in WBL (pp. 74-91)


WEEK 11   From Dayton to Kosovo


11/5 Kosovo Simulation I


            Required Readings:

                  Kosovo Crisis: A packet of readings for the Kosovo Simulation I (Blackboard)


WEEK 12    Dayton and Kosovo Today: Lingering Issues


11/12 Kosovo Simulation II


            Required Readings:      

                  Lyon, James. 2000. “Will Bosnia Survive Dayton?” Current History 99,635 (March): 110-117. (electronic reserve)

                   Dusko Doder. 2001. “Letter From Bosnia” The Nation 272,6 (February 12): 14-18. (Blackboard)

                  Kosovo Today: A packet of readings for the Kosovo Simulation II (Blackboard)

WEEK 13    Joining Europe: The European Union & NATO

11/17 & 11/19

            Required Reading:       

                  Grabbe, “The Implications of EU Enlargement” in WBL (pp. 253-268)

                  “Westward, look, the land is bright - Central Europe.” The Economist October 26, 2002. (Blackboard)

                  “What's ours is ours.” The Economist May 26, 2001. (Blackboard)


WEEK 14    Joining Europe (cont’d)

11/24  (no class on 11/26 - Thanksgiving Break)                                                          


            Required Readings:      

                  Serfaty, Simon. 2003. “Europe Enlarged, America Detached?” Current History 102,662 (March): 99-105. (electronic reserve)



WEEK 15     The Future of Eastern Europe

12/1 & 12/3

            Required Reading:       

                  Pridham, “Democratization in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Perspective” in WBL (pp. 269-289)

                  “Europe after communism: ten years since the wall fell.” 1999.The Economist 353, 8144 (Nov. 6): 21-2 3. (electronic reserve)

                  Lovell, David W. (2001) “Trust and the Politics of Post-Communism.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 34,1 (March): 27-38. (electronic reserve)


Final Exam (Exam II): Monday, 12/8, 2:00 p.m. in DuSable 246




Undergraduate Writing Awards:  Papers written for 300-400 level courses in the Department of Political Science (including this course!) are eligible for the Department’s undergraduate writing award.  Your hard work could earn you $50, a certificate, and a nice line on your resume.  Papers written in calendar year 2003 are due in February 2004. See the Department website for more details.


Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities:  Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.


Department of Political Science Web Site:  This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu