Fall 2013: Goverance, Democracy and Development: This course explores democracy, governance and development. How should these concepts be defined? How do countries develop effective and responsive states? What impact do governance and democracy have on development? How do foreign aid and external forces affect governance/democracy? We examine key issues (participation, revenues, transparency, rule of law, corruption, etc.) closely, before turning to case studies, including failed states/Afghanistan, the Arab Spring and the impact of the rise of the BRICs. Students will learn tools useful in democracy/governance work, as well as memo-writing and policy brief skills. Click here to see the syllabus
Spring 2014: Development Strategies: Why are some countries rich and some poor? Why is there so much diversity in development strategies for countries at similar levels of development? This course explores the many factors that affect the way states and their societies construct development strategies, and the impact particular development strategies have on development outcomes: social development, environmental sustainability, growth, income distribution, human rights, etc. Our cases will illustrate the interaction between structure and agency: how do structural conditions (such as being a natural resource based economy, or having a particular class configuration) affect the agency of government and societal choices, and vice versa? We will be looking at three basic areas of development strategy: agriculture and rural development; industrialization; and social policy. We will also be exploring the role of institutions, social capital, globalization, and other important issues in comparative development. The course assumes there are no easy answers to these questions. It also assumes a basic background in economics. Click here to see the syllabus.