One of the salient economic and political facts about the modern world is the dire poverty of Sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this course is to investigate the reasons for this and pose the question: Why is Africa poor?
Underdeveloped societies are agrarian and rural; developed societies, industrial and urban. Economic growth and economic development would appear therefore to imply a great transition. How does this transformation take place? What are the processes that lead rural and agricultural societies to become industrial and urban? What economic forces underlie this transformation? And what are the political processes by which agrarian elites become marginalized and the peasantry driven from off the land?
Intended for graduate students in the third year and above, this course welcomes scholarship of all types and on all aspects of political economy. Intended to provide a venue in which to develop and to debate work in progress.
Covers recent work on state failure, civil war and terrorism. It included recent work on ethnicity and ethnic conflict as well. Most papers utilize formal theory or econometric methods. Grades will be based on the presentation and discussion of the papers in class and on a research paper.
A microperspective on various topics in political economy, including the emergence and development of institutions, property rights, agency relationships, the effects of time on politics, and the role of politicians ("putting the politicians back in"), political demography, and the law.
Students will attend lectures of Social Analysis 52 and then meet as a separate seminar. The readings and discussion will focus on the political economy of agriculture and industrialization; of ethnicity and political conflict; and of state formation and political collapse.