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Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
Politics and Society in Central Asia
CEUS-R 315/515
William Fierman

This course carries CASE S&H & CASE GCC designations

This course is designed for students interested in contemporary problems of Soviet Central Asia and its successor states.  It is an introductory course for undergraduates or graduates.

The course will be primarily in a lecture format, although I encourage class discussion.  Most of the lectures and discussions will be focused on the topics indicated in the syllabus.  However, we will also attempt to follow other relevant developments as they unfold in the region during the semester.


Unfortunately, there are no suitable textbooks which follow the topics I cover in this course.  Therefore I assign many articles and chapters from journals, newspapers, and books which will be collected in three packets;  the first will be available at the beginning of the semester.  Two copies of the packet will be available at the Reserve desk in the Main Library and another in the RIFIAS Library (Goodbody Hall 144).  Because of copyright restrictions it is impossible for the university to make these materials available to students through a copy service.  However, students may make their own copies of any materials on reserve for their personal use. 

The bulk of the reading assignments are required for both graduate and undergraduate students.  However, some readings, noted on the syllabus, are required only for graduate students.  Readings for undergraduate students average about sixty to seventy pages per week.

After the first week, students will be expected to have completed relevant reading assignments before each session.  In the event that we move through the list of course topic more slowly than indicated on the syllabus, reading assignments will be adjusted accordingly. 


There will be three exams (two midterms and a final).  The exams will cover the course readings, lectures, and class discussions.  In addition to the exams, graduate students must also do additional reading and written work.  Most likely this will be a research paper of 15-20 pages  (i.e., 3750-5000 words, excluding notes and bibliography).


Undergraduate students:  Approximately 55% of the grade will be determined by the two midterms (i.e., 27.5% each), 35% by the final, and 10% by class attendance and participation.

Graduate students: Approximately 40% of the grade for will be determined by the two midterms (20% each), 25% by the final, 10% by class participation, and 25% by the paper.  Exams for graduate students may differ in significant ways from those for undergrads.  For graduate students with more background, the weighting of the grade may be altered by agreement with the instructor at the beginning of the course.