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Department of Politics and International Studies

State and development in Asia and Africa

Course Code:
15PPOC017
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

The purpose of this course is to examine the relationship between politics (domestic and international) and economic development strategies. In particular, the course seeks to understand the role of political factors in explaining why most East Asian and Latin American countries developed quite rapidly since the 1950s (into ‘emerging market democracies) whereas most African states have experienced continuing stagnation and even disintegration.

It also seeks to understand the global trend towards neo-liberalism and democracy of the past two decades, as well as to assess the consequences of this transition for late-developers. The course is organized into two parts, corresponding to the two terms. The first term focuses on the emergence and reform of 'capitalist developmental states' (using empirical examples from East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa), and the key development controversies (democracy, corruption, distribution) that arise out of the transition from the developmental state to emerging market (or ‘neo-liberal’) democracy.

The second part focuses on the contemporary institutional architecture of globalization (including IMF, World Bank, WTO and international finance) and the development issues that arise out of its workings. Whereas the first part emphasizes the comparative domestic dimensions of political economy, the second part emphasizes the international dimensions

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The study of development from the comparative and international political economy perspectives will enable students to understand the reasons for the wide variations in the development experiences of Asian, Latin American and African countries over the past 50 years. In seeing how political logics (power) interact with economic logics (profit) within particular national and international settings, students will gain a better understanding of the connections between the intellectual fields of political science, sociology and development studies. The course literature will also introduce students to the principal analytical approaches to the study of comparative and international political economy. In terms of transferable skills, this course will improve students' general skills of research (using both documentary and online sources) and their presentation of arguments in both verbal and written forms.

Method of assessment

Assessment is 30% Coursework (comprising three 3000 word essays) and 70% unseen examination - all coursework is resubmissible

Suggested reading

Preliminary readings:
  • Gary Gereffi and Donald Wyman (eds) Manufacturing Miracles: Paths of Industrialization in East Asia and Latin America (1990)
  • Stephan Haggard, Pathways from the Periphery (1990)
  • Colin Leys, The Rise and Fall of Development Theory (1996)
  • Meredith Woo-Cumings (ed.) The Developmental State (1999)
  • Jeffry Frieden and David Lake (eds) International Political Economy (4th ed. 2001)
  • Thomas Oatley, International Political Economy: Interests and Institutions in the Global Economy (2nd ed. 2006)
  • Alice H. Amsden, Escape From Empire: The Developing World’s Journey Through Heaven and Hell (2007)