Comparative Political Economy of Developed Countries

MTWR 2-4pm
Course Description
     While the struggle to develop is no small matter, once countries successfully join the  club of “developed” countries challenges do not disappear. Where developing countries  struggle to build, organize, and marshal the resources and institutions necessary to develop,  once countries have developed they are faced with new challenges of what to do with their  newfound (or long standing) capacity to execute public policy. Should they continue on an  endless spiral of economic growth? Are “post material” issues of equity which may have been  swept under the rug of material development now national priorities? What about new  frontiers and new challenges which seemed out of reach such as global standards, global  systems, climate crises, or the final frontier? There are very real and important questions of  what countries should do when they are heavily constrained by crime or accident of history  and are striving to develop on an uneven playing field. But once they have broken through  and developed, new questions begin to be asked. It is a tragedy when people starve because  there simply isn’t enough to go around but is it not more puzzling when people starve despite  their being more than enough to go around?  
        This course focuses on the problems, crises, and choices which face those countries  who have seemingly achieved what all countries desire: development and prosperity for their  citizens. It adopts a comparative, cross-national perspective to analyze the variety of ways  that different countries have attempted to address the common and specific challenges they  face once they have, in a very real sense, developed the capacity to do almost anything they  choose.  
        Empirical examples will be drawn from throughout the world and throughout the  history of developed countries after the industrial revolution. Particular emphasis will be  placed on the East Asian, European, and American experiences. 


Instructor: Konrad Posch