This graduate seminar provides an introduction to the relationship between politics and policy-making in developing countries. Using India as a guide, we will examine the political institutions underlying the policy process and the role played by groups with diverse policy interests. In doing so, we will evaluate the characteristics of political competition and the dynamics of political participation in highly dynamic contexts. The course will begin with a consideration of the major institutional and non-institutional factors shaping policy-making, such as the nature of formal electoral institutions and social cleavages. With this foundation in domestic political economy, we will spend the second half of the course exploring a set of major policy issues facing developing countries today, including economic development, poverty, health, and the environment. Throughout the course we will place India in the context of other developing countries, so as to evaluate the ways in which differing institutional and interest-based constraints may lead to divergent policy choices at both domestic and international levels.
Note: This description is from Fall 2013.