POLS 362: POLITICS OF DEVELOPING AREAS
Department of Political Science
Spring 2008, Dusable 246
Instructor: Dr. Kheang Un
Office: Pottenger House, Room 200
Office Hours: M and W and by appointment
Three quarters of the world’s population live in the
developing world. Although the
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.
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 four 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 March 6 and the final exam will be taken during the regular final exam day, May 8, . 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 April 24. 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
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.
of Lectures, Required
Introduction to the Course
Topic I: Introduction to the Developing World
Topic II: Colonialism and the Making of the Developing World
Video: “The Rise of Asian Nationalism.” VICASSETTE DS525.7.F765 1992
Colonialism, read the text, pp. 43-68
Group Discussion: Linking cases and concepts, read the text, relevant pages pp. 69-103.
Topic III: Poverty, Inequality and Regime Types
Sachs, Jeffrey, “The End of Poverty:
Economic Possibilities for Our Time,” in Mark
Kesselman, The Politics of Globalization:
A Reader (
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
Globalization, read the text, pp. 117-138.
Joseph, “Globalization Is About Blending, Not Homogenizing,” Comparative Politics: Annual Editions 06/07 (
“Political Globalization,” in Joel Krieger, Globalization and State Power: A Reader (
Topic V: Politics, Violence, and Political Change
Violent path to change, read the text, pp. 243-280.
Prumier, Gerard, "The Politics
of Death in
Class—Professor off for a Conference in
Video: “Return to the Killing Fields.”
Video: “The Ghost of
Review and Discussion
March 11 Spring Break!!!
March 13 Spring Break
Structural Adjustment, read the text, pp. 139-158.
Alternative Approach to Development, read the text, pp. 159-166.
Group Discussion: Linking cases and concepts, read the text, pp. 167-183.
Topic VI: Democratization
Democratization, read the text, pp. 300-342.
No Class—Professor Attends American
Association of Asian Studies in
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.
Topic VII: Global Challenges and International Institutions
Global challenges and responses, read the text, pp. 394-414.
Laurie Garret, "The Lessons of HIV/AIDS," Foreign Affairs 84:4 (2005): 51-64.
Video: “Illegal Immigrants.” Video. JV6483.I454 2000
Group Discussion: Linking cases and concepts, read the text, pp. 415-430.
Topic VIII: The
Term Paper Due
Class Evaluation and Reviews