Ideas about the prerequisites, processes and indicia of economic development have undergone radical change since the end of World War II.
Peace brought an enormous and unfounded optimism: not only was political and economic development desirable and possible, the two were thought to be mutually re-enforcing. The theory and practice of "development" has changed radically since then. Indeed, scholars no longer agree (or perhaps even lack an interest in defining) what "development" is, who it is for and whether it is desirable. Today, instead of "development" we have "emerging markets"-a catch phrase that embodies a deep transformation of the state, the economy and the relationship between human beings and market forces. Instead of genuine participation we live in an era where "democracy" has become an empty slogan that disempowers people from affecting real decisions that shape their daily live. Why did this happen? What does it mean? How did we get to where we are today?
This lecture course exposes students to some of the main debates in the field of economic and political development and underdevelopment. The intellectual history of "development" as a field is explored through the origins and transformation of three key institutional fields: the state, the national market, and the international economy. Going through a series of system-transforming eventsâ€”the rise of the Asian NICs; the Debt Crises of the 1980s; the Financial Crises of the 1990s--we will conclude by considering the ways in which the international economy itself has changed over time and try to understand the social, psychological and political consequences of contemporary forms of post-fordist production.
Subfield: Comparative Politics