The political economy of development in Africa
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- Term 1
The aim of this course is to increase students' capacity to use their growing knowledge of political economy of development in rigorous analysis of a subset of critical issues facing policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa. Attention is paid to data quality and the statistical problems that are a feature of the literature covering these countries. The heterogeneity of African economies is stressed and students are encouraged to focus their written work on particular sub-regions, countries and sectors. The course also emphasizes the importance of a detailed grasp of economic history as a basis for critically assessing generalised debates on the determinants of recent economic performance.
Topics include: Afro-pessimism and an African Political Economy; Environment, Demography & the Resource Base; nutrition and undernutrition; famine; agriculture and land; the informal economy; HIV/AIDS; poverty and gender; education.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- understand the major and minor strands in debates over African economic development.;
- apply their knowledge in constructing a critical analysis of the issues for a particular African country
- use economic data appropriately;
- understand the link between economic theory and evidence base in debates on African economic development;
- understand the heterogeneity of African economies.
Method of assessment
Assessment weighting: Exam 70% / coursework 30%. All coursework is resubmittable.