SELECTED TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS: TOPIC National Political Economies in a Global Era

M 12:00-2:00
291 Barrows
Course Description
This course considers selected themes in contemporary political economy of market economies that constitute possible research and analytic topics. We seek to understand the adjustments countries must make to an evolving economy and the political efforts necessary to shape and control that evolution. Those political economy adjustments have become entangled with security issues.  In considering particular topics, the course will also open crucial debates in Comparative Political Economy. One focus in the course will be on converting engaging questions into manageable research topics. A second focus will be to consider how the analytic optic with which a problem is approached sets the research problem.  This encourages us to consider the frames of analysis, the basic analytic tools, that underpin the study of comparative politics, and how they can be used.  
The course is appropriate for both advanced students preparing for exams or dissertation designs and students just approaching a program of political economy.
Week I. (1/19) NO FORMAL CLASS/Individual Meetings by Appointment
January 19th: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 
Ordinarily, we would hold an introductory class. Since this is a holiday, those interested in the class should feel free to contact me to schedule an appointment or meet with me during office hours. Office hours this initial week will be held 1-2 PM on that Monday at my RESEARCH office at BRIE, 2234 Piedmont.  
  • Come prepared to the second week having completed the readings and ready to discuss. 
Topics by Week:
  • What place for the State? Three Globalizations and the interplay of global dynamics and domestic developments
  • How revolutionary is the digital revolution?  The politics of the digital era and the changing sources of value creation
  • Escape from the Industrial Commodity Trap: will there be work in the digital era?
  • Growth models, the “double bind”, and some basics of comparative political economy 
  • Finance:  was the crisis the real story? 
  • The foundations of inequality:  fate or choice?
  • The “Climate Challenge”, the energy system transformation, and “green spirals” 
  • “Strong State, Wealthy Nation?”  Security politics and political economy
  • Foundations of diversity:  the debate 
  • National Options:  what Choices Are Countries making, and why? 
  • Regional Arrangements:  how does regional governance and conflict influence national choices?