Introduction to International Development

This course introduces undergraduates to the political economy of international economic development planning, using an applied, quantitative approach. Why has development taken place in some countries but not in others? We will move through the major theories and models of development and underdevelopment, providing tools to understand the mechanisms and processes behind economic growth and broader notions of “progress.” The course offers an alternative view of development, focusing on the persistence of dichotomies in current theory and practice. Using specific cases, students will explore how different combinations of actors and institutions at various scales may promote or inhibit economic development. Students are asked to re-examine conventional knowledge and engage critically with the assumptions behind current thinking and policy.