Skip to Main Content



Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: POSC 321
Course Title: Politics of Developing Nations
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Analysis of the governmental structures and roles played by developing nations in contemporary world affairs. Offered odd fall. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most recent editions of the following are recommended:


Main texts: titles 1-3.

Supplemental texts: titles 4-6.

The Challenge of Third World Development
By Handelman, Howard (Prentice Hall)
Politics and Culture in the Developing World
By Payne, Richard and Jamal Nassar (Longman)
Comparative Politics of the Third World: Linking Concepts and Cases
By Green, December and Laura Luehrmann (Rienner)
The Bottom Billion
By Collier, Paul (Oxford University Press)
War, Guns and Votes
By Collier, Paul (Harper)
Developing World Annual Edition
By Griffiths, Robert (Dushkin)
Course Objectives

• To explore the legacy of colonialism in the developing world. • To examine major theoretical approaches to economic and political development. • To understand causes and consequences of conflicts in the developing world. • To investigate social and environmental conditions in the developing world.

Measurable Learning

  • Explain and assess the process of colonialism and its impact on the developing world.
  • Explain and assess theories of economic development as they apply to the developing world, including modernization theory, Marxist-based theories, liberal economic theories and developmental state theory.
  • Apply theories of democratic transitions to the developing world.
  • Explain the causes and consequences of military intervention in politics.
  • Describe and explain the problem of ethnic conflict in the developing world.
  • Explain and assess the role of religion in Third World societies.
  • Explain and assess the role of women in Third World societies
  • Describe health, population and environmental concerns in the developing world and analyze the relationship between economic growth and sustainable development.

    Topical Outline: Note: At a minimum, students should be expected to write a 10-12 page research paper or multiple shorter assignments of equivalent length.

    This course can be organized in a variety of ways: by substantive topic, by region of the world, or on a country-by-country basis. Regardless of the organizational form chose, students should be exposed to the political and economic conditions of a variety of developing countries from multiple regions of the world.

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Brian Kessel Date: July 30, 2014
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

    Office of Academic Affairs


    Request info

    Request info