Cancelled! - Sustaining Growth in Developing Countries

Course Description: 

Elective Course

Economic development is central to policy concerns. This module analyses the key political, social and economic processes which affect development, taking the perspective of a country which is initially poor. In the past decade economists have increasingly recognized that the foundations of prosperity are political: societies need polities that are both centralized and inclusive. No society starts with such a polity: the first part of the module analyses what determines whether these features develop.

The second part covers the social conditions for development. Some cultures are more conducive to cooperation than others. Culture is analyzed as a set of beliefs generated from participation in social networks. The beliefs include a sense of identity, an understanding (or misunderstanding) of how the world works, and the norms that determine which behaviours generate respect and stigma. Like polities, cultures can to an extent be changed by policy choices.

The third part covers three distinct economic opportunities – countries which are isolated, countries which are globally integrated, and countries which are resource-rich. Each is shown to require distinctive economic policies. The political and social difficulties of these policies are related back to the political and social conditions discussed in the first two parts of the course.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Evaluate alternative accounts of political authority.
  • Understand why some public organizations are ineffective.
  • Discuss how the public policies appropriate for poor countries differ according to their particular characteristics.
  • Explain why the natural resource curse arises and how it can be avoided.
  • Understand the early stages of industrialization.
  • Evaluate and prioritize international interventions intended to assist poor countries