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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Christopher R. Heurlin
POL S 450
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 SIS 456.

Class description

Full Term Description: Students will explore different perspectives on state-society relations. Special attention will be paid to the processes of state-building, economic development, the rule of law, ethnic conflict and labor politics in developing countries. Students will explore answers to the following questions: Why are some states strong while other states seem perpetually weak? How have states attempted to develop their countryside? Why would authoritarian states attempt to establish the rule of law? Why are some areas torn apart by ethnic conflict while others remain relatively stable? The empirical focus of the class will include case studies of China, sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Egypt, among others.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Texts: Likely readings will include, States and Power in Africa, by Jeffrey Herbst; Ethnic Conflict and Civil Life, by Ashutosh Varshney; Against the Law, by Ching Kwan Lee; and various other articles.

Class assignments and grading

Grading: Grades will be determined on the basis of classroom participation, a midterm exam, and final paper.


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 04/25/2008