Northern Illinois University

Department of Political Science

Spring 2006, Dusable 461

T&Th 9:30-10:45


Instructor: Dr. Kheang Un

Office: Zulauf 414

Phone: 815-753-7043

Email: kun1@niu.edu

Office Hours: T & Th 2-3:30 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.  Attendance at all class sessions is expected, and the instructor will check the attendance regularly.  Class participation will account for 10 percent while attendance will account for 10 percent of the total course grade.  More significantly, informed participation in class discussion will significantly help students in borderline grade situations.


4. Exams.  This course will have three exams.  Two will be midterms written in class on March 02 and April 04.  A final exam will be taken during the regular final exam day, May 11 from 10:00-11:50 pm.  Each of these exams will be worth 20 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 on May 04.  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


January 17

Introduction to the course


Topic I: Introduction to the Developing World       

January 19

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


January 24

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


January 26

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 

Jenuary 31

Video: “The Rise of Asian Nationalism.”


February 02

Colonialism, read the text, pp. 43-68


February 07

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


Topic IV: International Economic System and Globalization

February 09

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


February 14

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].


February 16

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


February 21

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


February 23

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


March 28

Linking cases and concepts continued

Catch-up and Review


March 02        

Exam I           


Topic V: Politics and Political Change

March 07

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


March 09

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


March 21

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


March 23

Democratization (continued)     

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


March 28

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


March 30

Linking cases and concepts, and review and catch up.  


April 04


Exam II


Topic VI: Global Challenges and International Institutions


April 06

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


April 11

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


April 13

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


April 18


Video: “AIDS in Africa.”         


April 20

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


Topic VII: The United States and the Third World

April 25

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


April 27

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


May 02

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


May 04

Catch-up and review

Term paper due         


May 11

Final Exam 10:00-11:50