IR 439

IR 439 - IR 439: Political Economy of Eurasia (Fall 2009)...

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IR 439: Political Economy of Eurasia (Fall 2009) Prof. Robert English office: VKC 305 Phone: 821-3090 hours: Wed 11:00-12:00 e-mail: renglish@usc.edu Thurs 12:30-2:00 Course Objectives : Since the end of the Cold War, and the collapse of state socialism, a dramatic international experiment has been underway: the attempted transition of some two dozen countries from centrally planned, one-party systems to free-market democracy. The West’s stake in their success is great—whether they will become stable, prosperous neighbors and trade partners, or languish in poverty and corruption while exporting mainly refugees, criminals, drugs, and perhaps chemical or nuclear weapons. The questions we will be addressing include: Have the prescriptions of the IMF and other international lending agencies helped or hurt? Has Russia finally found the path to steady growth? Why have some Central European and Baltic countries done so much better? Can regional integration, or new oil wealth, save the failing states of Central Asia and the Caucasus? And in what political, cultural, and historical circumstances is democratization a help—or a hindrance—to building a market economy? Course Format : This is primarily a lecture course, though there will also be a significant discussion component. The general pattern will be lecture for the first 45-50 minutes of each meeting, followed by a discussion and Q & A period. Beyond this, I will also ask each student to make a brief (3-5 minutes) presentation on a particular article or chapter at least once during the semester. There will also be two exams and a research paper (see below for details). Course Requirements: One is to be an active participant, not only in class discussions but first and foremost by timely completion of the reading assignments; without this, successful engagement with the ideas and information vital to understanding post-communist political economy is impossible. The assignments are drawn from diverse sources—books, articles, think-tank studies and reports—compiled in a course reader that is available for purchase in the SIR main office (VKC 330). It is titled IR 439: Readings on the Political Economy of Eurasia This reader is “published” in three parts to save you from a single expensive purchase (and from a single, unwieldy volume). The instructor will also occasionally supplement these readings with articles sent out in Blackboard messages as e-mail attachments. On other occasions, xeroxed “handouts” on relevant current events will be distributed in class. They are available only in class on one day—if you miss class, it is your responsibility to copy or borrow these articles from colleagues. Finally, your attention will occasionally be directed to various websites and on-line sources of news and
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IR 439 - IR 439: Political Economy of Eurasia (Fall 2009)...

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