SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Politics of development

Module Code:
153400042
Credits:
15
FHEQ Level:
5
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 2

The purpose of this module is to examine the effects of political factors on economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It aims to familiarise students with various theories of economic development, specifically the role of the state and government intervention, and then to guide students in tracing these theories against the empirical evidence from a range of examples from states in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It will thereby enable students to acquire a nuanced and empirically grounded perspective on the reasons for wide variations in economic development.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Understand the various theories of economic development, more especially of the role of the state and government intervention in economic development
  • Test such theories against the evidence from a range of Asian, Latin American and African states
  • Gain a nuanced and empirically grounded perspective on the reasons for wide variations in the development experiences of Asian and African states over the past 50 years
  • Use analytical tools of various political economy approaches, including Rational Choice theory

Workload

This module will be taught over 10 weeks with:

  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour tutorial per week

Scope and syllabus

  1. Introduction 
  2. The political and economic consequences of geography
  3. Post-colonial state and Institutions
  4. Post-colonial economic policies and urban bias
  5. Transition to neo-liberalism
  6. Development under neo-liberalism (1): The Structural Adjustment Programmes in Africa and Economic Liberalisation in India
  7. Development under neo-liberalism (2): Good governance, reforming institutions, tackling corruption
  8. Development under neo-liberalism (3): Globalisation, Africa Rising and the return of South-South Development Cooperation
  9. Developmental State in Africa: Emulating East Asia?
  10. Conclusion

Method of assessment

Assignment 1: Essay 40%
Unseen written examination 60%

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules