Political Economy of Development

Term: Fall 2011

Subject Code: GPOL

Course Number: 6488

This course offers a critical survey of key concepts, theories and paradigms in the political economy of development since 1945.  It seeks to provide an intellectual history of the field as well as an assessment of the power and limitations of rival explanatory approaches.  The first section examines classical developmental paradigms: modernization, planning and late industrialization; dependency and world system theories; the neoclassical counter-revolution; gender, feminism and development; and ‘governmentality’, high modernism and post-development.  The second part of the course explores various attempts to reconfigure the political economy of state-society relations and the prospects of development by analyzing the impact of developmental states; institutions, democratization and ‘good governance’; participation, decentralization and social capital; and ethnic conflict and state failure.  The final section recasts the frame by examining the long-term impact of physical geographies, colonial legacies and economic globalization on the prospects of development.  Although primarily analytical, the course also seeks to assess rival theoretical frameworks vis-à-vis specific cases in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

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