Northern Illinois University

                                                     Department of Political Science



Fall 2005                                                                                 Prof. L. Kamenitsa

MW 2-3:15                                                                             Office: Zulauf  107; 753-7053

DuSable 459                                                                           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 or Electronic Reserve.  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    (10/12)                     30%

Exam II   (12/5)                       30%

Briefing Paper I (11/2)            15%

Briefing Paper II (11/16)        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.



To help us better understand regional political issues and the challenges they can raise, the class will undertake two in-class simulations this semester.  The first will deal with the Kosovo crisis in 1998-1999 and will allow students to explore the themes of nationalism and ethnic divisions in the region.  The second simulation will focus on the European Union’s expansion to include several states from Central and Eastern Europe.  In both simulations 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 assignments will be provided in class and on Blackboard.  Each student will write two briefing papers, each paper will be 5-6 pages in length.


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 415) 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 is conducted through the university’s Blackboard Course Server.  This course website can be accessed only by students enrolled in this course.  The URL for Blackboard is http://webcourses.niu.edu . Login to Blackboard with your student Z-ID and password. For login questions go to http://www.helpdesk.niu.edu/ and click on “Blackboard” or contact ITS at 753-8100. The system uses your NIU student webmail account (NetMail).  If you wish to receive course-related e-mails at another address, you need to forward mail from your NIU account to another account. Learn how to do this on the ITS helpdesk home page (http://www.its.niu.edu/its/helpdesk/webmail_students.shtml).  It is your responsibility to set this up -- do it today!   Blackboard sometimes goes down unexpectedly.  Do not wait until the last minute to access materials you need on Blackboard.  A Blackboard outage the night before an assignment is due will NOT be an acceptable excuse an incomplete assignment. 


No paper (or other written assignment or exam) submitted for another course or written by another person will be accepted.  Plagiarism - presenting the thoughts or words of others as if they were your own - will not be tolerated.  You must credit all of the sources from which you obtain data, information, ideas, or language with a full and accurate citation (and quotation marks, when appropriate).  Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty can result in an automatic "F" for the course and even expulsion from the University (see the Student Judicial Code). 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

8/22 & 8/24

            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...

8/29  & 8/31

            Required Readings:    

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


WEEK 3     ... Collapse

9/7 & (no class on 9/5 - Labor Day)

            Required Readings:    

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


WEEK 4    The 1989 Revolutions

9/12 & 9/14

            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

9/19 & 9/21

            Required Readings:

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

                  Perry, Joellen. “All Business on the Eastern Front.” U.S. News & World Report 135, no. 17 (November 17 2003)  p 40. (Blackboard)           

                  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...)

9/26 & 9/28

            Required Readings:

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

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

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


WEEK 7    Politics, Inequality, and Social Change

10/3 & 10/5

            Required Readings:    

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

                    Mason, David S. 2003/2004. “Fairness Matters: Equity and the Transition to Democracy.” World Policy Journal 20, no. 4 (Winter): p. 48-56. (Blackboard)


WEEK 8     Women and Gender


10/12  ****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)

                  Additional reading TBA


WEEK 9      Social Ills (continued) and Ethnic Politics

10/17 & 10/19

            Required Readings:    

                  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

10/24 & 10/26


            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


11/2 Kosovo Simulation I  (First briefing paper due)****


            Required Readings:

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


WEEK 12    Joining Europe:  NATO

11/7  & 11/9


            Required Readings:    

                  Bosnia & Kosovo Today: A packet of readings (Blackboard)

                  Additional reading TBA


WEEK 13    Joining Europe: The European Union


11/16   EU Simulation  (second briefing paper due)****


            Required Reading:     

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

                  EU Enlargement: A packet of readings for the EU Simulation (Blackboard)


WEEK 14    Joining Europe (cont’d)

11/21  (no class on 11/23 - Thanksgiving Break)                                                      


            Required Readings:    

                  Reading TBA


WEEK 15     The Future of Eastern Europe

11/28 & 11/30

            Required Reading:     

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

                  Rosapepe, Jim. “Eastern Bloc Party.” American Prospect 15, no. 7 (Jul 2004): p. 14-15 (Blackboard)

                  Thomas Molnar.  2004. “The Next Area of Unrest: East-Central Europe.” Modern Age 46 no1/2 (Winter/Spring) pp. 43-7 (Blackboard)


Final Exam (Exam II): Monday, 12/5, 2:00 p.m. in DuSable 459




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 2005 are due in February 2006. 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