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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jessica Beyer
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

This course focuses on the “Third World" and explores how state leaders have grappled with the massive domestic and international political, economic, and social changes that have occurred during the 20th and 21st centuries. With an eye to the international context countries exist within, the course focuses on the relationships between states and their societies. We will examine how states shape their societies and are shaped in turn by the societies they govern. As a group we will look at the legacy of colonization, the way scholars have conceived of the state and the development of the state, the effects of different configurations of domestic and international power on state-society relations, and other major themes in the study of state-society relations. Students will be asked to specialize in a specific place and will explore state-society relations in that place through original research and in-class presentations.

Student learning goals

Think critically about state-society relations.

Form oral and written arguments in response to the class’s organizing questions.

Use writing as a way of understanding the course’s organizing questions.

Use research in support of arguments about state-society relations.

Craft individual narratives about state-society relations.

General method of instruction

We will explore course questions using discussion, lectures, student presentations, film, current events, writing, research, and extensive readings.

Recommended preparation

Some coursework in International Studies, Political Science, or global history is recommended.

Class assignments and grading

Class assignments will involve short critical essays, a research paper, student presentations, participation, and other assignments.

Grades will be generated based on course assignments.


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 Jessica Beyer
Date: 05/29/2012