Fall 2019 - IS 322 D800

Central Asia: Democracy, Development and Conflicts (4)

Class Number: 10721

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM
    HCC 1325, Vancouver

  • Instructor:

    Nicole Jackson
    1 778 782-8424
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units. Recommended: IS 200.



Examines the new states of post-Soviet Central Asia, with particular reference to the relationship among democratization, development, autocracy and conflict, and the role of external actors in transnational security issues in the region. Students with credit for IS 412 may not take this course for further credit.


This course is designed to develop student expertise on Post-Soviet Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan) though an inter-disciplinary study of its politics and international relations. The core themes which will be explored include: i) the relationships among democratization, security and conflict; ii) the security implications of the resilience and fragility of autocracies and semi-autocracies; iii) the role of external actors in transnational security issues. The course introduces key academic works in the study of Central Asia and also draws upon policy literature.

This is a seminar course, but there may be introductory lectures followed by seminar work, presentations and debates. There will also be group work requiring students to create policy proposals towards key political and security issues.  For the first time, in Fall 2019, this course will be taught as a third year and graduate level. Therefore, the specific organization of the course will be decided upon in September based on the number of students. Students will be expected to give written and oral analyses of the readings each week. There will be a role-playing scenario at the end of term.


These include the ability to critically analyse modern politics and security studies in Central Asia; to analyse and evaluate theories, concepts and themes of Central Asian politics. Theoretical arguments will be critiqued and applied to empirical case studies; academic texts analysed; primary sources evaluated and deployed; reasoned arguments constructed. Students will also learn to communicate effectively in oral and written form, to develop policy proposal based on empirical and theoretical works, and to work independently and with colleagues to achieve set tasks.


  • Participation (includes active and constructive discussions based on readings and group work) 15%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Research Essay (Research Essay: 20 pages double-spaced, not including bibliography. Graduate students will have extra assignments or page lengths) 40%
  • Scenario 15%
  • Group Position Statement 15%


Note: dependent on the number of students there may be a final exam instead of the scenario.

Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



Alex Cooley, Great Games, Local Rules, Oxford University Press, 2014 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780199331437

This course will have a heavy reading load. Readings will mostly include journal articles which will be posted on SFU Canvas. 

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html