Saturday, January 09, 2010

Syllabus for Democratization

ICP 329.5
3 credits
International and Comparative Politics
American University of Central Asia
Spring Semester 2010
J. Otto Pohl, Ph.D.

Meeting Time: Monday 2:10 room 309 and Thursday 2:10 room 229

Course Description: This course will cover the process of democratization in an historical and comparative manner. It will start by examining the history and social origins of democratic rule. After reviewing the general history and theory of democracy the course will cover the transition from authoritarian to more representative political systems in various countries during the last couple of decades. In particular the course will deal with the process of democratization in Eurasia and the Middle East. The course will analyze both those factors that facilitate greater democratization and those which impede it.

Requirements: The course will consist of assigned readings, lectures, discussion, short writing assignments, an oral report and a research paper. For each of the three thematic sections students will have to write a reflection paper of between 800 and 1000 words. The first reflection paper should be on the general problems of developing and maintaining democracy. The second one should on unique problems faced in the former Soviet Union to democratizing. Finally, the third one should be on the problems faced in developing democratic systems in the Middle East. Students will also have to complete a 2500 to 3000 word research paper comparing and contrasting the process of democratization in two different countries. The paper is due the last week of class. In the three weeks prior to this deadline each student will be required to give a short oral presentation on the subject of their paper followed by a short question and answer session. Late papers will lose one letter grade for each day they are late. 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: All of the required readings are included in the course packet.

Plagiarism Policy:  I have a zero tolerance policy regarding plagiarism. If I catch any student plagiarizing once I will fail them for the assignment. If I catch them a second time I will fail them from the class. Plagiarism includes any verbatim copying 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 five 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, endnote 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. 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, endnote 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.


Three short papers – 45% (15% each)
Written research paper – 20% (Due last week of class
Oral report on research – 10%
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.

General History and Theory of Democracy

Week Two: Read “Where and How Did Democracy Develop?: A Brief History” (chapter one), pp. 7-25 and Read “Democracy and Social Classes” (chapter one) in Tom Bottomore, pp. 12-27.

Week Three: Read “The Twisted Path” (chapter two) in Fareed Zakaria, pp. 59-87.

Week Four: Read “The Democratic Route to Modern Society” (chapter seven) in Barrington Moore, Jr., 413-432.

Week Five: Read “Globalization and Ethnic Hatred” (introduction) in Amy Chua, pp. 1-17. The first reflection paper is due on Thursday of this week.


Week Six: Read “Unintended Consequences: Economic Crisis and Social Awakening” (chapter four) in Robert Strayer, pp. 132-171.

Week Seven: Read “Strategies for Ethnic Accord in Post-Soviet States” (chapter thirteen) in Valery Tishkov, pp. 272-293.

Week Eight: Read “Epilogue: Memory” in Anne Applebaum, pp. 505-514 and conclusion of Lynne Viola, pp. 183-193. The second reflection paper is due on Thursday of this week.

The Middle East

Week Nine: Read Marina Ottaway “The Missing Constituency for Democratic Reform” (chapter eight), pp. 151-169.

Week Ten: Read “The Third Republic: Turkey since 1980” (chapter fifteen) in Erik J. Zurcher, pp. 292-342.

Week Eleven: Read “Iran: Revolutionary Islam in Power” (chapter three) in John L. Esposito and John O. Voll, pp. 52-77. The third reflection paper is due on Thursday of this week

Student Research

Week Twelve: Student oral presentations.

Week Thirteen: Student oral presentations continued.

Week Fourteen: Student oral presentations continued.

Week Fifteen: Written version of the research paper due and concluding remarks.

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