gov_t339syl_spring08-1 - Spring Semester, 2008 GOVERNMENT...

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Spring Semester, 2008 GOVERNMENT 339: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPMENT Mondays, Wednesdays, 8:40 – 9:55 Goldwyn Smith, 142 Professor Nicolas van de Walle Office: 170 Uris Hall Telephone: 255-8927 email: [email protected] Office Hours: Wednesdays 3-5 and by appointment. COURSE OBJECTIVES This class will survey both the major policy issues in the developing world today, and the political economy literature. The class seeks to inform students of the historical and contemporary dynamics of economic development, with a focus on political issues. The developing countries are undergoing a period of heightened change, which intensifies distributional tensions because of the uncertainty change engenders and because the growth process is rarely spread evenly across ethnic group, region and class. One of the course's organizing premise is that all economic policies have distributional consequences and that the winners and losers' ability to mobilize for and against policies largely determine the success or failure of the policies. The other is that state structures play a critical role in the process of development. GRADE DISTRIBUTION AND REQUIREMENTS Grades will be based on: 1. An in-class midterm on March 12 (20% of the grade) 2. A final exam on May 15, 9-11:30 AM (35%). 3. A short (8-10 pages) paper (25%) 4. Two short written assignments (10%) 5. Class participation (10%) I will ask you to specialize in a single developing country, which will be the focus of the assignments (to be posted on Blackboard), as well as of the paper. More information to come. REQUIRED TEXTS The following texts are required reading and have been ordered from the University store: 1. William Easterly , The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics . (MIT Press, 2001) 2. Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What can be Done about it. - 1 -
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(Oxford University Press, 2007) 3. Nicolas van de Walle, African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, 1979-1999 . (Cambridge University Press, 2001) Other readings will be assigned from a variety of on-line journals and book chapters. COURSE READINGS AND OUTLINE Tentative dates for lectures: 1. General Introduction (January 21) PART 1: CONCEPTS 2. Defining Development (January 23) What do we mean by development? How well do the standard economic measures capture the process of development? How good are alternative measures? Do people in low income countries behave in the same manner as people in developed countries, or do we need a distinct analytical apparatus to understand them? Amartya Sen, “The concept of Development”, in The Handbook of Development Economics Edited by Hollis Chenery and T.N. Srinivasan (1988). Vol 1. Pages 9-26.
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course GOVT 3393 taught by Professor Vandewalle,n during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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gov_t339syl_spring08-1 - Spring Semester, 2008 GOVERNMENT...

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