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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Joseph Hannah
SIS 456
Seattle Campus

State-Society Relations in Third World Countries

Relationships among political, social, and economic changes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Problems of economic and political development, revolution and reform, state-society relations, imperialism and dependency. Offered: jointly with POL S 450.

Class description

Students will develop an appreciation for the complex forces that have shaped “Third World” states and societies. The class will start by discussing various conceptions of “state” and “society.” It will then focus particularly on post-World War II political histories, colonialism and post-colonialism, international political economy, and international development in the Third World. We will examine relationships between the state and different tools of the state and different elements of society, such as borders and maps, ethnicity, religion, and poverty.

Student learning goals

• Students will be exposed to competing theories that are used to explain the nature of the state and society in the Third World;

• Students will get an overview of what kinds of activities and structures are involved in state-society relations;

• Students will develop the critical reading and thinking skills necessary to identify and engage with different state-society issues;

• Students will also practice research, writing, and reading skills to enhance their ability to tackle problems of state-society relations on their own.

General method of instruction

The class will be organized around lectures combined with small group exercises.

Recommended preparation

Required readings are likely to include Joel Migdal, Strong Societies and Weak States; James Scott, Seeing Like a State.

Class assignments and grading

Students will be expected to integrate lectures, required readings, films and newspaper analysis. The research paper will involve multiple drafts, and students will be expected to serve as peer reviewers on early drafts.

See above.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 01/26/2010