Spring 2020 - IS 210 D900

Comparative World Politics: Trajectories, Regimes, Challenges (3)

Class Number: 7498

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 12:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    SRYC 3240, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2020
    11:58 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby



Introduces students to the variety of systems of governance in the world today, examines the historical and cultural sources of their different developmental trajectories, and assesses the challenges they face in the future. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


This course introduces students to the politics of developing nations in the world. It revolves around their different developmental trajectories, and assesses the challenges of the emerging dynamics of globalization to their development prospects. The course is theme-based. It visits a wide variety of themes, including but not limited to the legacies of colonialism, the achievement of independence, nation and state-building processes, democratization, culture, poverty, corruption, and conflict. The primary focus is not on the study of individual countries, but students learn about a variety of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Furthermore, the course helps students develop analytical skills to identify the key political and economic differences between the developed and developing world, as well as the significant variation in the latter.


By the end of the course, students will:

  • have gained an understanding of the political realities of the developing world,
  • have learned about the major challenges that developing nations face in the contemporary global environment,
  • have gained insights into key historical developments such as colonialism, imperialism, and modernization, and will be able to identify the major historical trends that have shaped contemporary realities since the Industrial Revolution,
  • be able to critically assess the competing explanations and policy solutions to the aforementioned realities and challenges, and
  • have developed their own comparative, evidence-based study on a critical issue concerning the developing world.


  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Term Paper 20%
  • Final Exam 30%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Participation 10%


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.



Burnell, Peter; Lise Rakner, and Vicky Randall (ed.). 2017. Politics in the Developing World [5th edition]. Oxford University Press. pp. 496.
ISBN: 9780198737438


Cooper, Andrew F. 2016. The BRICS: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 160.

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