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Course Description
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Economics/Political Science: Politics of the Developing World
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Political Science; Economics 300 English 3 45 N/A


This is an introductory course to the politics of development from a comparative
perspective. We will be addressing development issues across different points in time
and across different world regions. Two main topics/concepts will be analysed
throughout the semester: development and the state. We will study Latin America,
Africa, and Asia, which form part of what is known as the developing world or Third
World, which in fact we will make a problem out of this labelling. We will as well
present a comparative overview of the Latin American, African, and Asian regions in
general; and address and familiarise ourselves with the debates surrounding the virtues
& vices of market economies (and globalisation). In addition, we will seek to answer
part of this course title’s premise/question, why did Francisco Pizarro (Spanish
conquistador) won over Atahualpa (Inca Emperor)? throughout the semester. A
cultural component, a film or play (related to development politics), will be part of this
course by the end of the semester.


· Politics of development
· Conceptualising development, democracy, the state, globalisation
· Development policies and the developing world
· Development in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia
· Regions in comparative perspective: The Developing World?
· Post-Keynes’ Debates
· State, development, and other concerns


Discussion Papers (30%): Each student will write a 5-page (double-spaced) reaction
paper criticizing and analyzing the readings pertaining to a preselected day. This task
will be performed twice during the semester.

Research Paper (40%): This assignment will be divided in four parts throughout the
semester. In this way, we can elaborate and discuss your ideas on what and how to
write your final research paper assignment. The final paper will consist of 15 pages

Presentation in class (10%): Each student will present his or her final research paper in

Reaction Critical Paper (10%): Each student will read another classmate’s paper,
listen to his/her paper presentation, and criticise the same ones. The student will submit
a 5-page word-processed document (double-spaced) highlighting your comments,
critiques, and questions posed to your classmate during his/her presentation and your
level of satisfaction with the answers received in an orderly way. YOUR COMMENTS

Attendance (10%)

BIBLIOGRAPHY (Just a selection and we will read only a chapter or two of most

· Amartya Sen (1999). Development as Freedom. New York: Anchor Books.

· Jared Diamond (1997). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.
Norton and Company.

· Mancur Olson (2000). Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and
Capitalist Dictatorships. New York: Basic Books.

· Samir Amin Beyond US Hegemony: Assessing the Prospects for a Multipolar
World (2006); Capitalism in the age of globalization: The Management of
Contemporary Society (1997)

· Roberto Mangabeira Unger (1998). Democracy Realized: A Progressive
Alternative. Verso.

· Robert H. Bates (2001). Prosperity & Violence: The Political Economy of
Development. New York/London: W.W. Norton & Company.

· Charles Tilly (1975). The Formation of National States in Western Europe.
Princeton University Press.

· A. Douglas Kincaid and Alejandro Portes, editors (1994). Comparative
National Development: Society and Economy in the New Global Order. Chapel
Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press.

· Joseph E. Stiglitz (2002). Globalization and Its Discontents. W.W. Norton &
Company: New York/London.

· Alex E. Fernández Jilberto and André Mommem, editors (1996). Liberalization
in the Developing World: Institutional and economic changes in Latin America,
Africa, and Asia. London and New York: Routledge.

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