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One hundred and one years of editorial freedom
Vol. CII, No. 53 Ann Arbor, Michigan- Thursday, January 9, 1992 The Michigan Daily
Courses on Soviet Union struggle to stay current
by Karen Sabgir
Daily Higher Education Reporter
Radical changes in what used to
be the Soviet Union are causing
members of political science de-
partments to rethink, rename, and
refocus their curriculum.
"What should we call a course
on Soviet economics or foreign pol-
icy ... or any course with 'Soviet' in
the name?" asked Charles Elliott, a
professor at the Institute of Sino-
Soviet Studies at George Washing-
Most of the former republics of
the Soviet Union have reformed into
the Commonwealth of Independent
States (CIS) at the end of December,
marking the end of the Soviet state.
Judith Kullberg, a professor of
Soviet domestic policy at Ohio State
University, agreed that the course
* of pres.
WASHINGTON (AP) -
Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder
withdrew from the 1992 presiden-
tial race yesterday, citing the de-
mands of running his financially
"I withdraw despite the fact
that my campaign was making
progress," he said in his State of the
Commonwealth address to the
Virginia General Assembly in
Richmond. "I have said time and
time again, my highest priority is to
the people of the Commonwealth of
Wilder, the nation's first elected
Black governor, had considered fo-
cusing his campaign in the South af-
ter poiis suggested he had better
chances in Maryland and South
Carolina than New Hampshire.
Wilder also faced heavy criti-
cism home for spending one of every
three days in the last year out of the
state, while Virginia suffered fiscal
"Balancing the rigors of running
a state government and conducting a
national campaign have not been
easy," Wilder's statement said.
Wilder smiled as he left the
General Assembly chamber but re-
fused to answer questions, saying he
was going to have dinner with his
Wilder's exit offers the remain-
ing candidates a chance to seize the
support of activists who had been
behind the Virginia governor,
especially Blacks and Southerners.
Tim Raftis, campaign manager
for Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, said
Wilder's departure "opens up some
additional opportunities." It also
points up the difficulty of waging a
presidential race, Raftis added.
titles, as well as content, need to
"If not this year, certainly next
year. In the meantime, certainly the
structure has changed," she said.
"It's a challenging period to be
teaching Soviet politics."
Kullberg described the disinte-
gration of the Soviet Union as "a
real theoretical opportunity to
make the study of politics in the So-
viet Union more comparative."
Kimberly Zisk, an assistant pro-
fessor at Ohio State, said she ap-
proaches her class on Soviet foreign
policy as a political science course,
not a current events class. "I focus
not on what has happened in the last
month, but over the last five years,"
Zisk added that she addresses
such topics as the changes in Soviet
foreign policy under Gorbachev and
the direction of future changes.
Several professors agreed that
adapting courses to the recent trans-
tion the benefit of taking the poli-
tics class over a history class, he
said. However, there simply isn't
enough information to base an entire
course solely on contemporary
'We've tried to make changes, but it's like
hitting a moving target.'
- Bill Zimmerman
political science professor at the University
both Communist systems in Eastern
Europe and the Soviet Union."
Professors said they are encour-
aging students to read the New
York Times to follow daily
Zimmerman said that although
the creation of current events data
systems will give students more
immediate access to information on
political events in the CIS, they
will be challenged by the lack of
standardized texts on the subject.
Wohlforth said not having
course-related literature will also
create problems for professors. Last
year in his Soviet foreign policy
class, Wohlforth brought in photo-
copies of news articles for his stu-
dents. He also suggested they read
the New York Review of Books,
Atlantic Monthly, and listen to
news reports regularly.
All professors reported in-
creases in the enrollment of Soviet-
related courses, particularly those
on the military, foreign policy, ad-
vanced level Russian language, and
most graduate-level courses.
Zimmerman pointed out that
this is the first time that students'
increased interest in these classes is
due to improving Soviet-U.S. rela-
tions. Enrollment jumps in the past
were attributed to negative inci-
dents, like the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan, he said.
Despite many enrollment in-
creases, Elliott noted a decline in
the number of students in introduc-
See COURSES, Page 2
formations will be difficult.
"The key is to get the timing
right on the new things," said Bill
Wohlforth, an assistant professor
of politics at Princeton University.
If too little time is spent on current
developments, students may ques-
"We've tried to make changes,
but it's like hitting a moving tar-
get," said Bill Zimmerman, a politi-
cal science professor at the Univer-
sity of Michigan. "An awful lot of
emphasis will be on the demise of
"' 7 Bksh recoversg
r6 R e ° c6 R -.,-
°SR c s at states dmner
TOKYO (AP) - President
Bush collapsed to the floor at a
state dinner yesterday, felled by
what the White House said was
stomach flu. After a night's sleep,
he was reported "up and about"
and ready to resume his schedule
for the final day of his Japan trade
White House spokesperson
Marlin Fitzwater said Bush still
was suffering "some weakness"
from his illness but did not require
further medication and planned to
keep most of his schedule,
including a one-en-one meeting
with Prime Minister Kiichi
"The doctors are certain that
there are no other illness or prob-
lems related to this," Fitzwater
said. "The president is human. He
Fitzwater refused to say
whether Bush lost consciousness
after vomiting and sliding to the
floor during the incident at a state
dinner hosted by the prime
Bush was stricken at 8:20 p.m.
(6:20 a.m. EST) while sitting at the
After Bush dropped plans to
visit a Kodak plant, Commerce
Secretary Robert Mosbacher
planned to go instead.
Fitzwater said the president's
collapse had not affected the trade
mission and laughed when asked if
it would hurt Bush's plans to seek
reelection. Bush has said only a
major health problem would keep
him from running for re-election.
Bush was "taking it easy" after
rising this morning, Mosbacher
told a group of Japanese and U.S.
businessmen with whom the
president was to have had
Vice President Dan Quayle, on
the campaign trail, told a group of
Republicans at a country club in
Litchfield, N.H., late yesterday af-
ternoon that "I just talked to the
president. He's up and about."
Bush's sudden illness sent shock
waves around the world, raising
See BUSH, Page 2
President Bush waves to reporters.as he is whisked away after collapsing at a state dinner yesterday in
Tokyo. The White House says the President had a stomach flu.
'Severe' trade talks yield no result In Japan
TOKYO (AP) - Thorny U.S.-
Japanese trade talks were bogged
down over sales of American cars
and parts in Japan yesterday. Nego-
tiators went back to work in the,
morning after struggling in late-
night meetings described by both
sides as "severe."
"We feel progress has been
made but they are not buttoned up
at this point," White House
spokesperson Marlin Fitzwater
said about the trade disputes.
"There's a lot at stake." He said
the talks between U.S. officials and
Japan's Foreign Ministry resumed
The White House said Japanese
officials were balking at demands
that they buy more from U.S. au-
tomakers and suppliers. However,
President Bush, in a television in-
terview before his collapse at a
state dinner, said, "We're making
The two sides headed back to the
table shortly before midnight yes-
terday after a contentious day dur-
ing which Commerce Secretary
Robert Mosbacher, according to
one account, denounced a Japanese
proposal as not fit to show Bush.
Seeking ways to reduce Japan's
$41 billion trade surplus over the
United States, the two sides were
discussing targets for Japanese pur-
chase of U.S. cars and parts.
Japanese auto exports account for
75 percent of the total deficit.
Bush has made opening Japanese
markets a centerpiece of his trip
here, hoping that increased exports
will help create jobs at home and
hasten the United States out of its
Bush predicted in an NBC News
interview that he would have
"things to point to when we leave
here" as successes on the trade
While the president spent yes-
terday's meeting with Miyazawa
and top advisers, as well as U.S. and
Japanese businesspeople, the work-
ing negotiators made little appar-
ent headway on the trade issues.
One U.S. official said the
Japanese had made concessions.
The talks got off to a rough
start, Mosbacher heatedly rejecting
Tokyo's proposal for increased
purchases of U.S. autos and-parts.
"I would be embarrassed to
show this to the president," he
See JAPAN, Page 2
Judge sets redistricting
hearing for January 24
by Erin Einhorn
and Travis Mc Reynolds
Daily City Reporter
A Washtenaw County Judge yesterday
scheduled a full hearing for Jan. 24 on City
Councilmember Kurt Zimmer's (D-4th Ward)
lawsuit against city Democrats over a new
ward boundary plan, which he calls
After a preliminary hearing, Circuit Court
Judge Donald Shelton said he would hear ex-
pert-witness testimony at the hearing.
Zimmer, who filed the suit last month, ac-
cuses fellow council Democrats of gerryman-
dering - reapportioning electoral boundaries
for political gain - and requests that the old
ward boundaries be used in the April 6
election if a new plan cannot be designed
before that time.
sively to do it," he said.
Members of the Democratic caucus deny
the accusations. They maintain that the
changes reflect the desires of their
constituents, who prefer as little change as
possible in the redistricting process. They also
say voters are independent enough to look at
the merits of individual candidates, rather
than party platforms.
Zimmer yesterday asked for an early
hearing date, arguing that council candidates
have already begun campaigning in the new
wards and any delay could cause confusion to
the voters and wasted effort on behalf of the
Howard King, a Republican council candi-
date, for example, lives in the 5th Ward under