GOVT-645 Theories of Political Development
Spring for 2013-2014
Theories of Political Development provides a comprehensive and critical overview of the major conceptual paradigms, theories and approaches that have guided Western studies of Third World societies over the last half a century. We are concerned first and foremost in understanding how analytical paradigms have guided, shaped and sometimes limited our analysis of development politics. We will also explore how these paradigms have helped shape the perceptions of US policy makers, particularly as regard questions of political and economic reform. Readings are drawn from a wide range of scholars working in fields of political economy, comparative politics, anthropology and sociology. Topics include regime transitions, the persistence of autocracy, ethno-religious conflict (and conflict resolution), and the political economy of reform. These topics will be explored comparatively, both within and across many regions, including the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. All students must have taken a basic introductory course in comparative politics. Further coursework in related fields is highly recommended.
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