Illinois State University
Department of Political Science

Jamal Nassar
Office: Schroeder 125
Office Hours: MWF 11-12; 1-2
or by appointment
Phone: (309) 438-2493


Section Teachers:
Pamela Ashworth:

Jake Karn:

Hillary Kipnis:

Matthew Nance:

Introduction to Non-Western Politics (Pos 145.11)
Spring 1997
MWF 10:00 - 10:50
Schroeder 138

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[Course Description] [Reading Materials] [Examinations] [Book Review] [Discussion Sections] [Extra Credit] [ Course Objectives] [Grading Standards] [Plagiarism] [Withdrawals] [Reading Schedule]


This course will present a comprehensive and non-specialized overview of the peoples, politics and cultures of the non-western or developing areas. Its purpose is to provide an understanding of the major problems confronting non-Western nations and to give insight into the various tools and strategies that their political leaders can use in dealing with those problems. The course will also investigate some of the major implications of the rise of the changing non-Western world on global politics.

Students will be exposed to political cultures, values and practices of the Third World in general. This background would suggest to students the proposition that it is no longer valid or profitable to study world politics within an essentially North American and European centered frame of reference. Asia, Latin America, and Africa together account for approximately sixty-three percent of the land area and seventy-five percent of the population of the earth. Today, three factors combine to give new meaning and importance to those figures. First, the age of colonialism--at least in the classic sense--is now being liquidated. Thus, non-Western states are obtaining a degree of political independence and freedom of decision which is unique in their recent histories.

Second, this development is both impelled and accompanied by what is often referred to as "a revolution of rising expectations." Great masses of people in these areas are being exposed to the highly revolutionary concept that meaningful types of economic, political and social change are possible in their countries, and that these carry with them the promise of a better life for themselves and their children. Thus, most of the governments of these non-western states are being committed to more or less systematic efforts to modernize their societies.

Third, both of the previous developments are taking place at a time when modern communications and technology have made all of us uneasy neighbors in a world where independence is rapidly losing its traditional meaning. Global interdependence, on the other hand, is experiencing explosive growth.


This course pursues several goals:

1. Expand the students' view of the who they are and the world they live in by establishing links with the people and cultures of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This course intends to broaden the students' horizons and provide them with conceptual lenses to understand a complex world divided by nationality, religion, race, gender, and class.

2. To provide students with a basic understanding of the political issues of poverty, instability, leadership, and culture in the global South and how ideas and concepts are culturally conditioned.

3. Develop students' ability for data collection and critical analysis. Critical and analytical thinking are needed to differentiate between explanation, fact, and opinion, to recognize both author and personal bias, and to compare and contrast information and points of view. Students will learn to evaluate their own and others' perspectives within cultural contexts by using the tools of politics.


Three books are required for the course:

1. Howard Handelman, The Challenge of Third World Development, 1996.
2. Jeseph N. Weatherby, et. al., The Other World: Issues and Politics of the
Developing World, Third Edition, 1997.
3. The Student to Student Textbook, Spring, 1997.

Also provided is a list of books for optional further reading.

The first two books are available at the ISU and other local bookstores. The "Student to Student Textbook" is available at PIP's Printing at the Bone Student Center. You will be responsible for all assigned readings regardless of whether I discuss them in class or not. In addition to these texts, you will be provided with or referred to pertinent articles regarding issues discussed in class. Also, keep informed on contemporary Third World developments as we will discuss them in class.


A total of three examinations will e administered during the semester. The first two would be administered in the sections and have a mix of short essay and multiple choice questions. The final or third examination will be administered during final's week and be all multiple choice. Each exam covers about one third of the materials and has equal weight to any other exam.


Each student will be asked to read a novel or any book selected from a list that will be distributed in class. The list includes books and novels written by Third World authors. Each student is to write a five-page, double-spaced review of the book. Book reviews are due on Friday March 21, 1997.


On Fridays, the class meets in small discussion sections directed by section teachers. Attendance and participation in the discussion sections is very important. Section teachers will explain to you the nature of their expectations. Those will include discussions and some written assignments.


You are encouraged to submit an entry to the Student to Student Textbook which will be used in a future semester. To do so, submit a five double-spaced printed essay in your own words on any subject discussed in class or in the readings. The best of all submitted entries will be published in a handbook and available to future students. You also need to submit your essay on disk using an I.B.M. compatible system.

You can receive up to ten points added to your total number of points at the end of the semester for your entry. Your entry will be judged on its quality, readability, and accuracy.

Therefore, if your total score at the end of the semester is 350 points out of 400 and you receive ten points for your outstanding entry, your score becomes 360 which moves you up from a B to an A for the course. Your entry must be submitted by April 11, 1997.


Your grade for the semester is derived on the basis of exams, discussion sections, book review and the extra credit the following manner; Test 1: 100 points Test 2: 100 points Test 3: 100 points Book Review: 60 points Discussion Sections: 40 points

Total 400 points

The Discussion Section points will be divided in this way: Attendance: 10 points Frequency and Quality of Participation: 10 points Written Assignments: 20 points

There will be no curve on grades. Students scoring 90% or better will receive an "A", 80-89% a "B" and so on.


Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Should a student be caught plagiarizing, he/she would receive an immediate "F" for the course.


Students may withdraw from class with a WX up to the University established deadline. Afterward, students wishing to withdraw will receive WF or WP in accordance to their standing in class.


1. Introduction a. Politics and Political Science Weatherby, Introduction b. Nations and States Weatherby, Ch. 1 c. Nationalism Weatherby, Ch. 2 d. Global Interdependence Handelman, Ch. 10

2. The Political of Global Inequalities a. The Developed and Developing Areas Handelman, Ch. 1 b. Poverty, Hunger and Malnutrition Weatherby, Ch. 3 c. Gender, Underdevelopment Handelman, Ch. 4


3. Potential Solutions to Inequalities a. The North-South Dialogue Weatherby, Ch. 4 b. Problems and Prospects Handelman, Ch. 6

4. Change in the Global South a. The Passing of the Traditional Society Handelman, Ch. 5 b. Transitional Societies Handelman, Ch. 6

5. Agents of Change a. The Military Handelman, Ch. 8 b. Parties and Elites Handelman, Ch. 7 c. The Role of Ideology Handelman, Ch. 9 d. The Role of Bureaucracy Weatherby, Ch. 9


6. Political Culture and Change in Regional Settings a. Religion and Politics Handelman, Ch. 2 b. Latin American Political Cultures Weatherby, Ch. 5 c. African Political Cultures Weatherby, Ch. 6 d. Middle Eastern Political Cultures Weatherby, Ch. 8 e. Asian Political Cultures Weatherby, Ch. 7

7. The Global South and America a. "The Browning of America" Handouts b. The New Economic Order Handouts c. Toward Multiculturalism Handouts


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