SPRING 2010                                              

Department of Political Science

Northern Illinois University


Instructor: Professor Kikue Hamayotsu                         E-mail: khamayotsu@niu.edu

Lecture: M/W 2-3:15                                                   Tel: 815-753-7048

Room: DU 252                                                             Office: Zulauf Hall 414

                                                                                    Office Hours: M11:30-13:30/W11-1

Teaching Assistant: Mr.Adam Cox

E-mail: acox@niu.edu

Office: DU476

Office Hours: T/TH 10:30-12




Course Overview:                                                            

This course surveys the various sources and forms of political violence across the world. The course will focus on political violence, conflict, and political mobilization primarily related to identity politics, ethnicity, religion and culture. The course is organized along thematic questions that are pertinent to the developing world including Asian (especially Southeast Asian), African and Middle Eastern nations. The specific issues dealt with in the course include: nationalism, ethnic and religious violence, political Islam, religious movements, ethnic minorities and separatist movements, and terrorism and radicalism.

What is identity politics?

Ethnic and religious identities manifest themselves in various forms of political mobilization in many parts of the world. For example, political parties in some multi-ethnic Asian nations such as Malaysia are almost entirely based on ethnicity in stark contrast to Thailand and the Philippines. Democratization and introduction of a multi-party system in some Muslim nations such as Indonesia and Turkey has led to the rise of religious-based parties. But, some parties remain very marginal while others gain power. Moreover, Muslim separatist movements in Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines have persisted more than a few decades till today and at times led to violent clashes with the state authorities. In contrast, a separatist movement in Aceh, Indonesia recently dissolved after it agreed to sign a peace agreement after a protracted struggle against Jakarta. Furthermore, radical forms of Islamist mobilization and terrorist activities have grown conspicuous in recent years in the Muslim world, arousing concern both within Muslim and non-Muslim communities that gfreedom of religionh\their fundamental right\is in jeopardy.

Why are ethnic cleavages so salient in political mobilization in some nations but not in others? Why are people willing to die for their faith or ethnicity? How can we explain the electoral weakness of Islamist parties in some countries despite rising religious consciousness in the Muslim community across the globe? Why have some multi-ethnic nations experienced a number of ethnic and religious violence while others have not? Do these variations in outcomes across countries have to do with culture, institutions, or other structural factors?

Objectives of the course:

This course will offer students analytical tools and theoretical approaches to analyze and explain such issues of political and policy significance from comparative perspectives. Students will learn how to account for various patterns of experiences across places and across times under investigation.

Course readings are chosen based on the merits of their analytical arguments rather than their country coverage, and combine theoretical literature and case studies from various countries and regions. The readings are intended to enable students to achieve the following goals: (1) to gain empirical and conceptual understandings of identity-based political mobilization and violence; (2) to think comparatively across the developing world more generally; and (3) to address and debate theoretical questions in political science through empirical cases. We do not, therefore, cover every single country in the same depth, although empirical focus is given to: South East Asia and the Muslim world. The course will refer to other cases including Africa, South Asia, and Europe, however, whenever they are relevant to our theoretical inquiry. 

This is a lecture course intended for upper-level undergraduate students. In order to encourage discussion and interaction among students, weekly class meetings will consist of lectures followed by student presentations and discussion. Students will make oral presentations and discuss the weekfs readings and related issues.

The course is largely divided into three sections. The first is on various sources and forms of political violence and identity politics. The section introduces students to various theoretical approaches and analytical tools/perspectives to study the origins and manifestations of ethnic/religious/cultural identity in politics. The second section focuses on varying patterns of identity politics and their relations to violence. It explores how ethnic and religious identity shape political mobilization and political change in general, and the behaviors of state and societal actors in particular. We also closely examine issues related to political Islam including terrorism. In the third and final section, we will examine issues that broadly pertain to ethnic conflicts. Such issues as religious and ethnic conflicts, Islamic radicalism, terrorism, and management of—and solutions to—conflicts will be discussed here.


Students are recommended to have completed at least one introductory course (such as POLS260) and have some familiarity with key concepts and approaches in Political Science. However, students interested in the course topics are encouraged to take the course.


Course Requirements:                                                                 

1.      Class attendance:

A)      You are required to attend all the classes. More than three unexcused absences will jeopardize your attendance grade and you will risk failing the course. Please notify your TA in advance and present a justifiable reason if you must miss class.

2.      Do read the required readings. All the course requirements will enable students to develop their analytical skills in the course of your study of Southeast Asian politics. Students are expected to come to class having done the reading beforehand and to actively participate in discussion. It is important to approach the readings with the following questions in mind: (a) what is the central issue/debate? (b) what is the main argument/point? (c) what is the evidence for the argument? (d) what are the problems with the argument? (e) can you think of counter arguments?  Students should also address these questions in writing assignments.

3.      Two in-class exams: composed of a short-answer section and some essay questions.

A)      Mid-term exam: consists of a short-answer section and essay questions. The exam will cover the first half of the course. Students will be expected to write clear and coherent essays.

B)       Final exam: consists of a short-answer section and essay questions. The exam will primarily cover materials from the second half of the course, but test your overall understanding of the materials covered in the course.

4.      One short term paper of 5-6pp. in length:

A)      The question is given in class in advance.

B)       The paper must be double-spaced and properly footnoted.

C)      Paper is due on April 19. Submit a hard copy in class.

5.      One class presentation:

A)      On the first day of class, students will be asked to sign-up for one section (topic) in which to present.

B)       The presentation should be a critique of the required readings and must address central controversies to stimulate class discussion. The critique can also include issues of policy relevance. You can be creative, but donft just summarize the readings. The presentation should be approximately 10 minutes.

6.      Random quizzes:

A)      A handful (most likely 4 to 5) of brief quizzes are given randomly throughout the semester. They focus on the required readings. The purpose of this component of the evaluation is to encourage the students to do the assigned readings, and to come to class prepared to discuss the material. Quiz questions will be included in the mid-term/final exams. If it becomes clear that people are not coming to class prepared, the instructor reserves the right to take the drastic action of giving pop quizzes. Otherwise, quizzes will be announced in the class before they are due.


Grade distribution:                                                                    

1.      Quizes 10% (2%X5)

2.      Mid-term exam 20%

3.      Final exam 40%

4.      Term paper 20%

5.      Oral presentation 10%


Please note: late submission will result in grade reduction for a half-mark per day (e.g., gAh will be reduced to gA-h if submission is a day late).


Books to Purchase:                                                           

All the books have been ordered at the university bookstore.


Sidel, John T. 2007. The Islamist Threat in Southeast Asia: A Reassessment. Washington D.C.: East-West Center Washington.

Wiktorowicz, Quintan, ed. 2004. Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


Class Schedule                                                              


Week 1-1 (JAN 11).   Course Introduction

·        What do we have to do to pass the course successfully?

·        What do we expect to learn and achieve?


WEEK 1-2 (JAN 13).       Introduction to Political Violence

·        What is political violence?

·        What is identity politics? Why does identity matter?

Required readings:

O'Neil, Patrick. 2010. Essentials of Comparative Politics. Third ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company: chap.2 (Nation and Society) and chap.10 (Political Violence).

BBC News, gIndia parliament uproar over Ayodhya mosque reporth.




WEEK 2-2 (JAN 20).       Varieties of Political Violence

Required readings:

Charles Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), chap.1 (Varieties of Violence).


WEEK 3-1 (JAN 25).      Why Do Men Rebel?

·        Why do men resort to violence?

Required readings:

Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence, chap.2. (Violence as Politics) and chap.(Scattered Attacks).


WEEK 3-2 (JAN 27).       Identity Formation 1

·        Where does ethnic identity come from?

·        Primordialist/Cultural view

Required readings:

Geertz, Clifford. The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books, 1973: chaps.9-10.


WEEK 4-1 (FEB 1).         Identity Formation 2

·        If not culture, what else?

·        Historical institutionalist/instrumentalist views

Required readings:

Posner, Daniel N. Institutions and Ethnic Politics in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005: 1-20.


WEEK 4-2 (FEB 3).         Identity Formation in a Historical Institutionalist Perspective: Colonialism in Asia and Africa

Required readings:

Hirschman, Charles. "The Meaning and Measurement of Ethnicity in Malaysia: An Analysis of Census Classifications." Journal of Asian Studies 46, no. 3 (1987): 555-82.

Posner, Daniel N. "The Colonial Origins of Ethnic Cleavages:  The Case of Linguistic Divisions in Zambia." Comparative Politics 35, no. 2 (2003): 127-46.


WEEK 5-1 (FEB 8).         Nationalism: Making a gNationh and gRaceh

·        Where does nationalism come from and why do men die for a nation?

Required readings:

Marx, Anthony W. 2002. The Nation-State and Its Exclusion. Political Science Quarterly 117 (1):103-26.




WEEK 5-2 (FEB 10).       Culture and Democracy: Cultural Claims and Critiques

·        Does a particular culture promote/hinder democracy?

Ø        Video: Obamafs gCairo Speechh

Required readings:

Huntington, Samuel P. "The Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign Affairs 72, no. 3 (1993).


WEEK 6-1 (FEB 15).       Culture and Democracy: Is Islam an Exception? 

Required readings:

Zakaria, Fareed. The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. New York W.W. Norton & Company, 2004: chap.4 (The Islamic Exception).


WEEK 6-2 (FEB 17).       Islam and Civil Society 

·        Does civil society exist in Muslim nations?

Required readings:

Roy, Olivier. "The Predicament of 'Civil Society' in Central Asia and the 'Greater Middle East'." International Affairs 81, no. 5 (2005).


WEEK 7-1 (FEB 22).       Political Islam (1)

·        What is political Islam?

Fuller, Graham E. 2002. The Future of Political Islam. Foreign Affairs 81 (2):48-60.


WEEK 7-2 (FEB 24).       Mid-term exam (in class) 


WEEK 8-1 (MAR 1).       Political Islam (2): Social Movement Perspective

·        Under what condition, do religious movements resort to violence?

Required readings (read one of the following two chapters):

Wickham, Carrie Rosefsky. 2004. Interests, Ideas, and Islamist Outreach in Egypt. In Islamic Activism edited by Q. Wiktorowicz.

Robinson, Glenn E. 2004. Hamas as Social Movement. In Islamic Activism edited by Q. Wiktorowicz.


WEEK 8-2 (MAR 3).       Political Islam (3): Violence and Radicalism

Required readings (read one of the following two chapters):

Hafez, Mohammed M. 2004. From Marginalization to Massacres: A Political Process Explanation of GIA Violence in Algeria. In Islamic Activism edited by Q. Wiktorowicz.

Hafez, Mohammed M., and Quintan Wiktorowicz. 2004. Violence as Contention in the Egyptian Islamic Movement, In Islamic Activism edited by Q. Wiktorowicz.


WEEK 9-1/2 (MAR 8/10).             SPRING BREAK [NO CLASS]



WEEK 10-1 (MAR 15).   Ethnic Conflict: Theories and Debates (1)

·        What is ethnic conflict?

·        What causes ethnic conflict?

Required readings:

Hedman, Eva-Lotta E. 2005. Elections, community and representation in Indonesia: Notes on theory and method from another shore. In Violent Internal Conflicts in Asia Pacific: Histories, Political Economies and Policies, edited by D. F. Anwar, H. Bouvier, G. Smith and R. Tol. Jakarta: Yaysan Obor Indonesia.

Varshney, Ashutosh. "Ethnic Conflict and Civil Society: India and Beyond." World Politics 53, no.3 (2001): 362-98.


WEEK 10-2 (MAR 17).   Ethnic Conflict: Theories and Debates (2)

·        Does democratization help to reduce ethnic violence?

Required readings:

Snyder, Jack L. From Voting to Violence: Democratization and Nationalist Conflict. New York: Norton, 2000: chaps.1 and 6.


WEEK 11-1 (MAR 22). Ethnic Conflict: Case Studies in Asia (1)

Ø      Indonesia

Required readings:

Aspinall, Edward. 2006. Violence and Identity Formation in Aceh under Indonesian Rule. In Verandah of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem, edited by A. Reid. Seattle: Singapore University Press in association with University of Washington Press.

Recommended readings:

Schulze, Kirsten E. "The Free Aceh Movement (GAM): Anatomy of a Separatist Organization." Washington, DC: East-West Center Washington, 2004.


WEEK 11-2 (MAR 24).   Ethnic Conflict 3: Case Studies in Asia (2)

Ø        Video (Southern Philippines)

Ø      Southern Thailand/Southern Philippines

Required readings:

McCargo, Duncan. 2007. Thaksin and the Resurgence of Violence in the Thai South. In Rethinking Thailand's Southern Violence. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press.


WEEK 12-1 (MAR 29).   Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide: Cambodia (1)

Ø        Video: Killing Fields

Required reading:

Kiernan, Ben. The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996: chaps.1-2.


WEEK 12-2 (MAR 31).   Ethnic Cleaning and Genocide: Cambodia (2)

Required readings:                   

Kiernan, The Pol Pot Regime, chap.3.


WEEK 13-1 (APR 5).       Religious Conflict 1: Uncivil Religion and Violence

Required readings:

Abuza, Zachary. 2002. Tentacles of Terror: Al Qaeda's Southeast Asian Network. Contemporary Southeast Asia 24 (3):427-65.


WEEK 13-2 (APR 7).      Religious Conflict 2: Uncivil Religion and Local Forces

Required readings:

Sidel, John T. 2007. The Islamist Threat in Southeast Asia: A Reassessment. Washington D.C.: East-West Center Washington: especially pp.1-43 (but ideally entire).


WEEK 14-1 (APR 12).     Ethnic Minorities: Europe (1)

Required reading:

Fetzer, Joel S., and J. Christopher Soper. 2005. Muslims and the State in Britain, France, and Germany, Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion, and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: chap.1.


WEEK 14-2 (APR 14).     Ethnic Minorities: Europe (2)

Ø        Video: The War Within, CNN.

Required Readings:

Fetzer and Soper, chap.2 (Britain) and chap.3 (France).


WEEK 15-1 (APR 19).     Managing Ethnic Conflicts (1): Solutions?  

Required readings:

Horowitz, Donald L.  gEthnic Conflict Management for Policymakers,h in Conflict and Peacemaking in Multiethnic Societies. Edited by Joseph Montville. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1990: 115-130.



WEEK 15-2 (APR 21).     Managing Ethnic Conflicts (2): Successful Cases

Ø        Malaysia

Required readings:

Crouch, Harold. 2001. Managing Ethnic Tensions through Affirmative Action: The Malaysian Experience. In Social Cohesion and Conflict Prevention in Asia: Managing Diversity through Development, edited by N. J. Celletta, T. G. Lim and A. Kelles-Viitanen. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.


WEEK 16-1 (APR 26).                   Whatfs next?

WEEK 16-2 (APR 28).                   Review


MAY 3                FAINAL EXAM










Tips for Doing Well in this Class


1. Do the readings AND come to class.  Lectures will refer to the assigned readings but they will not summarize them and they are not an adequate substitute. Likewise, lectures will cover material that is not in the readings, and that may appear on the exams.


2. Read critically.  As you read, note questions that you would like to raise in lecture or section, and think critically about the author's evidence and arguments. 


3. Think comparatively.  Ask yourself how the particular case you are reading about compares with similar developments in other countries, regions, or periods.


4. Participate actively in discussion sections and in lecture.  Take notes on lectures, and be engaged in the question and discussion periods that will be held during the final minutes of class.


5. Keep up with current events. If you do not already do so, read the international pages of at least one major national / international paper every day.  Examples include The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.  Think about how contemporary events relate to the themes and cases studied in class. 


6. Know the locations of the countries and regions we cover.  Geography is critically important for understanding a nation's historical development and importantly influences national security interests and many other areas of political life.  If a name of a country is mentioned that you can't pinpoint on a map (a vague sense of where it is located is insufficient!), locate it on a map. Also note what its neighboring countries and regions are. Maps of the countries and regions of the world we will cover can be found in the Essentials of Comparative Politics text.


7. Follow up on topics you find particularly interesting by reading beyond the assigned texts. Look for hints of where to find additional materials by looking at footnotes and references in the readings or by asking your T.A. or me for suggested additional readings.


8. Take advantage of office hours. The T.A.s and I are here to help if you're having trouble understanding concepts or if you are simply interested in further discussing topics covered in class (see #7 above).


Other Important Information


Academic Dishonesty

Regarding plagiarism, the NIU Undergraduate Catalog states: "Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university." The above statement encompasses a paper written in whole or in part by another; a paper copied word-for-word or with only minor changes from another source; a paper copied in part from one or more sources without proper identification and acknowledgment of the sources; a paper that is merely a paraphrase of one or more sources, using ideas and/or logic without credit even though the actual words may be changed; and a paper that quotes, summarizes or paraphrases, or cuts and pastes words, phrases, or images from an Internet source without identification and the address of the web site.


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 an impact on their course work must register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building (753-1303). CAAR will assist students in making appropriate instructional and/or examination 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

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, research 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


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 Departmentfs 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 the end of March.  All copies should have two cover pages – one with the studentfs name and one without the studentfs 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 yearfs competition even if the student has graduated.


Classroom Decorum

Students are to arrive at class on time.  Two tardy arrivals are equivalent to one class absence.  Students are to remain for the entire session unless excused by the professor beforehand or confronted with a serious personal emergency.  For instance, it is not acceptable to students to walk in and out of class to answer cell phones, take casual bathroom and smoking breaks, or attend to other personal matters.   Cell phones, pagers, or any electronic devices that make noise must be turned off during class unless the instructor has been notified beforehand of a special circumstance (e.g., sick family member, pregnant wife, special childcare situation, etc.).  No one should talk while someone else is talking; this includes comments meant for a classmate rather than the entire group.  What may seem like a whisper or a harmless remark to one person can be a distraction to someone else, particularly in a small room.  Overall, classroom dialogue and behavior should always be courteous, respectful of others, and consistent with the expectations set forth by the university.