Non-Western Comparative

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSC 216

       Course Name: Non-Western Comparative

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys the political, social and economic history of selected non-western cultures since 1945. Content includes the study of at least four cultures, drawn from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Assess various models of political systems, including democratic leadership, populism, dictatorial and authoritarian regimes as they relate to their theoretical descriptions.
  2. Explain differences across countries such as political culture, political parties, regimes, social movements, states and policy-making processes.
  3. Compare the basic functions of different kinds of institutions of democratic regimes, legislatures, the executive and its bureaucracy, law and judicial systems, elections, interest groups, and their impact on the political process.
  4. Explain fundamental concepts in comparative political analysis including the state, nations and society, economic development and multi-level governance.

In addition to the above objectives, this course will help students develop the following:

General Education Competencies that have been established by the College:

  1. Identify, define, analyze, interpret and evaluate ideas, concepts, information and their consequences.
  2. Communicate ideas, concepts and information through written means using primary and secondary sources.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity as it relates to the individual, the community and the global society.
  4. Analyze real world events by applying empirical political science theory to new contexts.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Government: A Preliminary Survey
    1. Comparative political analysis
    2. Types of government
    3. Policy-making processes
    4. Authority, legitimacy and sovereignty
    5. Democracy & democratization
  2. Asia
    1. Political development: History and society
    2. Political institutions
    3. Elections and voting
    4. Political parties & interest groups
    5. The bureaucracy
    6. Economic development
    7. Civil society
    8. Public policy
    9. Foreign policy
  3. Africa
    1. Political development: History and society
    2. Political institutions
    3. Elections and voting
    4. Political parties & interest groups
    5. The bureaucracy
    6. Economic development
    7. Civil society
    8. Public policy
    9. Foreign policy
  4. The Middle East
    1. Political development: History and society
    2. Political instutions
    3. Elections and voting
    4. Political parties & interest groups
    5. The bureaucracy
    6. Economic development
    7. Civil society
    8. Public policy
    9. Foreign policy
  5. Latin America
    1. Political development: History and society
    2. Political institutions
    3. Elections and voting
    4. Political parties & interest groups
    5. The bureaucracy
    6. Economic development
    7. Civil society
    8. Public policy
    9. Foreign policy

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in-class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12-14 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The most current editions of the following texts are being used:

Allworth, Edwin. 2002. Central Asia: 130 Years of Russian Dominance, A Historical Overview. 3rd ed. Duke University Press.

Bregel, Yuri.2003. An Historical Atlas of Central Asia. Brill. Davis, Elizabeth, Van.Wie. and Azizian, Rouben. 2007. Islam, Oil, and Geopolitics in Central Asia after September 11.Rowman & Littlefield.

Golden, Peter. 2004. Central Asia in World History. Oxford University Press.

Liu, Xinru.2010. The Silk Road in World History. Oxford University Press.

Mason, Colin. A Short History of Asia. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Wegren, Stephen K, ed.2013. Putin’s Russia: Past Imperfection, Future Uncertain. Rowman & Littlefield.

Al-Sumait, Fahed and Hudson, Michael, eds. 2015. The Arab Spring: Catalysts, Dynamics and Trajectories. Rowman & Littlefield.

Dunning, Thad. 2008. Crude Democracy: Natural Resources, Wealth and Political Regimes.

Gelvin, James L. 2011. The Modern Middle East: A History. Oxford University Press.

Smith, Dan. 2008. The State of the Middle East: An Atlas of Conflict and Resolution. University of California Press.

Weitzman, Bruce M. 2016. A Century of Arab Politics: From the Arab Revolt to the Arab Spring. Rowan & Littlefield.

Skidmore, Thomas E. 2009. Modern Latin America. Oxford University Press.

Vanden, Harry E. and Prevost, Gary. 2014. Politics of Latin America: The Power Game. Oxford University Press.

Supplementary readings may include: Sources for Statistical Reports:
U.S. State Department, Background Notes
The World Factbook
World Statistics in Brief
World Almanac
The Statesman’s Yearbook
Population Reference Bureau: world Population Data Sheet
World Bank, World Development Report and Country Reports

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available in the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX:    Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX:    Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.