Politics of Globalisation and Development

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

The purpose of this module is to examine the relationship between politics (domestic and international) and economic development strategies. In particular, the module 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 module 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.

*This module used to be called State and Development in Asia and Africa

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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 module 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 module will improve students' general skills of research (using both documentary and online sources) and their presentation of arguments in both verbal and written forms.


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

Method of assessment

Assessment is 30% Coursework (comprising of one 3000 word essay) and a 3 hour unseen examination worth 70% - 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)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules