Northern Illinois University

Department of Political Science

Fall 2006, Dusable 252

T&Th 9:30-10:45


Instructor: Dr. Kheang Un

Office: Zulauf 405

Phone: 815-753-7054

Email: kun1@niu.edu

Office Hours: M and W 10:00-12:00 and by appointment



Three quarters of the world population live in the developing world.  Although the United States has engaged and, given the nature of the globalizing world, will engage in the affairs of developing countries, few Americans know about the developing world.  This course offers undergraduates an introduction to the developing world, expecting that students upon completion of the course should come away with the understanding of key economic and political issues of the developing world.  To achieve this goal, this course will cover specific countries and thematic elements.  Six countries—China, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran and Zimbabwe—will be examined along with such themes as colonialism, revolution and violence, economic development and the role of international institutions.


Course Policies and Requirements


1.  The Learning Environment. Your instructor is committed to the principle of active learning.  This principle requires students’ active involvement in, commitment to, and responsibility for their own education.  Hence, it is important that students conduct themselves in ways that indicate respect for the learning community and the learning process.  Respect for the learning community should preclude such behavior as persistent tardiness, leaving the room during class time (unless prior advice was given to the instructor or in case of emergency), falling asleep, reading the newspaper, turning your cell phone on, studying for another class, or chatting with others.


2. Readings, Lectures and Class Format. Please purchase a copy of the textbook for this course:  December Green and Laura Luehrmann, Comparative Politics of the Third World (2003), at the Student Center or at the Village Common Bookstore.  Some short readings may also be distributed in class.


Lectures will parallel and compliment the readings.  As such, students cannot just rely solely on the lectures or the readings.


The class will be divided into 6 groups, each of which will be assigned to focus on a country (case) for class discussion and term papers.  The class will break out into groups for discussion periodically.


3. Class attendance and Participation. 

A. Class attendance: Attendance at all class sessions is expected, and the instructor will check the attendance regularly.  Students are allowed to miss the class for a total of five times during the semester.  An additional absence will result in lowering the final grade by one letter.


B. Class Participation: Class participation will account for 20 percent of the total course grade.  Class participation will include regular participation, group discussions, and written reports of these discussions (due one week following the in-class oral report).  More significantly, informed participation in class discussion will significantly help students in borderline grade situations. 


4. Exams.  This course will have two exams—a midterm and a final.  The midterm will be taken in class on October 12 and the final exam will be taken during the regular final exam day, December 14 from 10:00-11:50.  Each of these exams will be worth 30 percent of the total course grade.  The format of each exam will be a combination of essay, short answers and identification of concepts.  No make up exam will be offered, except in cases of emergency, as defined by the instructor, and with advance notification. 


5. Term Paper: The term paper, 12 to 15 pages, will be worth 20 percent of the total course grade and due in class on December 07.  Late paper will be penalized by one letter grade a day.  The term paper will be framed around one of the two following research questions.


Question 1: Discuss whether your assigned country has democratized or failed to democratize.  If it is a democracy assess its likelihood of remaining democratic or of advancing its democracy to a high level.  If it is not a democracy, assess its likelihood of democratizing.


Question 2: Explain factors contributing to your assigned country’s economic growth or lack thereof.  How do your findings support or call into question these ideas: Is underdevelopment the result of poor decisions and economic management of developing countries? Or is underdevelopment a byproduct of developing countries in the international economic system, a capitalist system that is dominated by developed countries and the international organizations serving their interests?


Avoiding Plagiarism: Put simply, plagiarism happens when you take someone else’s ideas or words and use them as though they were your own ideas.  Commonly, students commit plagiarism out of ignorance or carelessness; though there are some people who outright steal other writers’ work.  Thus to avoid this problem, you should follow these guidelines:


. Always put quotation marks around any direct statement from someone else’s work and offer appropriate citation (endnote, footnote ect.)


. Cite any paraphrase of another writer’s ideas or statements.


. Cite any material, ideas, thoughts, etc., you got from your reading that can’t be described as general knowledge.




6. Course Grade.  Course Grades will be distributed as follows:

            Final Average                                      Final Grade

            90-100 %                                                         A

            80-89 %                                                           B

            65-79%                                                            C

            50-64                                                               D

            Below 50%                                                     F


7. Academic Integrity.  Students are expected to know and comply with NIU polices on academic integrity (see p. 47 of 2001 Undergraduate Catalog).  Any student found guilty of cheating or plagiarizing will receive an “F” for the examination and the course.  He or she may also be subject to additional sanctions imposed by the university.


8. Undergraduate Writing Awards. The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.


9. 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. Those 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.


10. Department of Political Science Web Site.  Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. 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






               Schedule of Lectures, Required Readings, and Exams


August 29

Introduction to the course


Topic I: Introduction to the Developing World     


August 31

Readings: Comparative Politics of the Third World (the text), pp. 1-17.


Sept 05

Readings: Robert Malley, “The Third Worldist Movement,” Current History (November 1999), pp. 359-369 [to be handed out].


Topic II: Poverty, Inequality and Regime Types


Sept 07

Readings: the text “Global Village of 1000 people,” pp. 3-4; 107-116; Jeffrey Sachs, “The Geography of Poverty and Wealth,” Scientific American Vo. 284, No 3 (March 2001), pp. 70-75. [to be handed out].


Topic III: Colonialism and the Making of the Developing World           


Sept 12

Video: “The Rise of Asian Nationalism.” VICASSETTE DS525.7 .F7651992


Sept 14

Colonialism, read the text, pp. 43-68


Sept 19

Linking cases and concepts, read the text, relevant pages pp. 69-103.


Topic IV: International Economic System and Globalization


Sept 21

Globalization, read the text, pp. 116-138.


Sept 26

Globalization, Thomas Friedman, “The New System.” in Joel Krieger, Globalization and State Power: A Reader (New York: Longman 2006), pp. 8-19 [to be distributed in class]; David Held, “Political Globalization,” in Joel Krieger, Globalization and State Power: A Reader (New York: Longman 2006), pp. 94-102 [to be handed out].


Sept 28

Structural Adjustment, read the text, pp. 139-158.


October 03

Alternative Approach to Development, read the text, pp. 158-166.


Oct 05

Linking cases and concepts, read the text, pp. 167-184.


Oct 10

Linking cases and concepts continued

Catch-up and Review


Oct 12

Exam I           


Topic V: Politics and Political Change



Violence path to change, read the text, pp. 244-279.


Oct 19

Linking cases and concepts, read relevant pages in the text, pp. 280-299.


Oct 24

Democratization, read the text, pp. 301-342.


Oct 26

Democratization (continued) 

Readings: Larry Diamond “Universal Democracy?” Policy Review No 119 (June/July 2003), pp. 2-25 [to be handed out].


Oct 31

Linking cases and concepts, relevant pages, read the text, pp. 343-357.


Nov 02


Linking cases and concepts (continued).       



Topic VI: Global Challenges and International Institutions


Nov 07

The United Nations, read the text, pp.366-386.


Nov 09

Regional, international and non-governmental organizations, read the text, pp. 361-366, pp.386-391.


Nov 14

Global challenges and responses, read the text, pp. 392-408.           


Nov 16


Video: “AIDS in Africa.” Video. RA643.86.Z55 A537 2000        


Nov 21

Linking cases and concepts, read the text, pp. 409-425.


Nov 23

No Class Thanksgiving


Topic VII: The United States and the Third World         


Nov 28

US policies toward the Third World, read the text, pp. 427-433.     


Nov 30

Linking concepts and cases, read the text, pp. 434-449


December 05

The Third World’s view toward the Unites States, read the text, pp. 453-455.       


December 07

Catch-up and review

Term paper due       


December 14

Final Exam 10:00-11:50