Thursday, January 08, 2009

Syllabus for Politics of Genocide

Politics of Genocide
ICP 425
3 Credits
International and Comparative Politics
American University Central Asia
Fall Semester 2009
J. Otto Pohl, Ph.D.

Meeting Time: Monday and Wednesday 9:25 am

Course Description: This course will focus on genocide in the 20th century. The first weeks will cover the theoretical and legal aspects of genocide studies. From the third week to the tenth week the class will focus on specific case studies. The exact emphasis of each week’s reading will be determined by the students. I have only provided broad categories based upon perpetrators rather than victims. Within these categories students will choose the exact material covered with my approval.

Requirements: This course will revolve around class discussion based upon readings chosen by the students. Each week from week three to week ten, students will lead discussion on readings they have chosen. All readings must be approved by me at least a week before the scheduled discussion. All the students in the class and not just those presenting that week are required to read these selections. The students leading discussion must submit a written paper between 1500 and 2000 words on the subject on the same day. Every student will be required to select class readings, lead discussion and submit a paper on the readings once. In addition all students will be required to write a 3000 to 3500 word research paper on one case of genocide. They will be required to give an oral presentation on this research in one of the last five weeks of class. All late papers will lose ten percent for each day they are late. Please see the separate handout regarding late papers. Students must come to class on time. Being more than fifteen minutes late will count as an absence. Students will lose one letter grade after four unexcused absences and fail the course after seven. Written proof of an emergency from a doctor or other appropriate authority is required for an absence to be excused. No mobile phones are to be visible during class. They are to be out of sight and turned off. I will eject any student from class that has a visible cell phone or whose cell phone rings during class. This will count as an unexcused absence. Finally, I have a significant hearing loss and may have to ask people to repeat their questions or statements from time to time. You can minimize this by speaking loudly and clearly. This syllabus is tentative and subject to change.

Readings: I will provide students with the readings for week two. For all other weeks, the readings will be selected by the students. The students doing the selection should make sure that the readings are available to the entire class. The easiest way to do this is to select journal articles from JSTOR or EBSCOHOST.

Plagiarism Policy: Policy on Plagiarism and Citations: I have a zero tolerance policy regarding plagiarism. If I catch any student plagiarizing once I will fail them from the course and recommend to the chairman of the ICP department that they be expelled from the program. Plagiarism includes any verbatim copying of from a source without using quotation marks or setting the text up as an indented single spaced block quotation. If I find that more than four words in a row in your paper show up in the same order in a Google search and you do not have the words in quotation marks or set up as a block quotation I will fail you. Putting a footnote, end note or other citation after the copied words without the quotation marks or block quotation form is still plagiarism, you are claiming to have paraphrased verbatim text, and you will still receive an F for the course and be recommended for expulsion from ICP. Taking text from a source without citing it and rearranging the words so that it does not show up in a verbatim Google search is also plagiarism. I will also do Google searches to see if you have taken text and merely rearranged the words. You must either paraphrase the sentence by putting it completely in your own words and citing it with the proper footnote, end note or in text citation or quote the actual text verbatim complete with the proper citation. Completely paraphrasing sentences in your own words, but neglecting to cite the source of the information is also plagiarism. All information that would not be known to the average person on the street with no university education must be cited. When in doubt always cite a legitimate source. Wikipedia is not a legitimate source. Books published by university presses and academic journal articles found on JSTOR are legitimate sources. Other sources may or may not be legitimate. If you have questions about whether a particular source is legitimate you can ask me. Using Wikipedia or other illegitimate sources will result in a reduction of one letter grade for each citation in a paper.


First Paper – 20%

Leading Class Discussion – 10%

Final Paper – 30%

Final Oral Report – 15%

Class Participation – 25%

Grading Scale:

100-96 = A
95-91 = A-
90-86 = B+
85-81 = B
80-76 = B-
75-71 = C+
70-66 = C
65-61 = C-
60-56 = D+
55-51 = D
50-46 = D-
45 and lower = F

Class Schedule

Week One: Introduction to the course and review of the syllabus.

Week Two: Theory and International Law

Read: Robert M. Hayden, “Schindler’s Fate: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, and Population Transfers,” Slavic Review, Vol. 55, No. 4 (Winter 1996), pp. 727-748, Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), pp. 1-40, and Robert Gellately and Ben Kiernan, “The Study of Mass Murder and Genocide,” in Gellately and Kiernan, eds., The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 3-26.

Week Three: The Colonial World

Week Four: The Ottoman Empire

Week Five: The USSR in the 1930s

Week Six: Nazi Germany

Week Seven: The USSR in the 1940s

Week Eight: Cambodia

Week Nine: Yugoslavia

Week Ten: Rwanda

Weeks Eleven to Fifteen: Student Oral Reports.

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