Northern Illinois University

Department of Political Science

Fall 2009, Dusable 459

Tuesday 6:30-9:10 pm


Instructor: Professor Kheang Un, Ph. D.

Office: Zulauf, Room 411

Phone: 815-753-1022

Email: kun1@niu.edu

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


Three quarters of the world’s population live in the developing world.  Although the United States has engaged and, given the nature of the globalizing world, will continue to engage in the affairs of developing countries, few Americans know much about the developing world.  This course offers undergraduates an introduction to the developing world, expecting that students upon completion of the course will come away with an 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, democratization, 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 2nd Edition (2007), at the Student Center or at the Village Commons Bookstore.  Some readings are also available on Blackboard.


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 two 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 (4-5 pages in length and due one week following the in-class oral report).  Students are required to do extra research for these written reports

(a minimum of five up-to-date sources are required).  More importantly, 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 13 and the final exam will be taken during the regular final exam day, December 8, 6-7:50 pm.  The midterm exam will be worth 30 percent and the final exam 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, 11 to 13 pages, will be worth 20 percent of the total course grade and is due in class on November 17.  Late papers will be penalized by one letter grade per 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’ place 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 etc.)


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.


A style guide for a research paper can be found on blackboard.  Students are encouraged to adopt this style guide unless he/she is familiar with a specific style and knows how to use it properly.


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

            Final Average                                      Final Grade

            90-100 %                                                         A

            80-89 %                                                           B

            70-79%                                                            C

            60-69                                                               D

            Below 60%                                                     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


Topic I: Introduction to the Course and the Developing World

August 25

Introduction to the Course 

Readings: Comparative Politics of the Third World (the text), pp. 1-25.

September 1

Video: “The Rise of Asian Nationalism.” VICASSETTE DS525.7.F765 1992

Colonialism, read the text, pp. 43-68

September 8

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

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

Topic III: Poverty, Inequality and Regime Types

September 15

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. [course blackboard].

Sachs, Jeffrey, “The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time,” in Mark Kesselman, The Politics of Globalization: A Reader (New York: Houhgton Miflin, 2007), pp. 475-486.

Singer, Peter, “What Should a Billionaire Give—and What Should You?” The New York Times Mazagine, PP. 59-63, 80, 83, 87.

Topic IV: International Economic System and Globalization

September 22

Globalization, read the text, pp. 117-138.

Nye, Joseph, “Globalization Is About Blending, Not Homogenizing,” Comparative Politics: Annual Editions 06/07 (Dubuque: McGraw Hill, 2006), pp. 219-220 [course blackboard].

David Held, “Political Globalization,” in Joel Krieger, Globalization and State Power: A Reader (New York: Longman 2006), pp. 94-102 [course blackboard].

Topic V: Politics, Violence, and Political Change

September 29

Violent path to change, read the text, pp. 243-280.

Prumier, Gerard, "The Politics of Death in Darfur," Current History (May 2006): 195-202 [course blackboard].

Video: “Return to the Killing Fields.”

October 6

Video: “The Ghost of Rwanda”

Review and Discussion

October 13

Exam I


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

Alternative Approach to Development, read the text, pp. 159-166.

Topic VI: Democratization

October 27

Group Discussion: Linking cases and concepts, read the text, pp. 167-183.

Democratization, read the text, pp. 300-342.

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

November 3

 M. Steven Fish, “Islam and Authoritarianism,” World Politics 55 (October 2002), 4-37 [course blackboard].

Group Discussion: Linking cases and concepts, relevant pages, read the text, pp. 343-358.

November 10

Global challenges and responses, read the text, pp. 394-414.

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

Laurie Garret, "The Lessons of HIV/AIDS," Foreign Affairs 84:4 (2005): 51-64. 

Video: “Illegal Immigrants.” Video. JV6483.I454 2000

Topic VIII: The United States and the Third World

November 17

Group Discussion: Linking cases and concepts, read the text, pp. 415-430.

US policies toward the Third World, read the text, pp. 431-438.

Term Paper Due

November 24

The Third World’s view toward the Unites States, read the text, pp. 457-459.

December 1

Class Evaluation and Reviews

December 8 (6-7:50 pm)

Final Exam