Spring 2015 - 61165 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
Why are some nations rich and some nations poor? This class will seek to answer those questions through applied concepts from political economy and international relations. It will draw on diverse literatures from political science, economics, and practitioners to assess both the domestic and international sources of country success. Among the questions we will address are: (1) How important are governance and domestic political factors? (2) How important is state intervention versus market forces? (3) What is the role of the international community in fostering economic development in poor countries around the world? (4) What role do non-state actors, NGO’s, businesses and philanthropists have in fostering economic development?, and (5) How important are diaspora populations’ remittances and investments?
We will spend the first third of the course looking at theories of economic development, including those related to the internal determinants of success: geographic location, human capital and infrastructure investment, good governance, export orientation, and state intervention. The second section of the course will look at what the international community can do to foster development and engage the debate between advocates for greater redistribution and those who think large foreign aid programs do more harm than good. We will critically examine the foreign aid regime but also look at international financing/balance of payments support system, the trade regime, technology transfer and intellectual property rights. The final section will look at emerging dimensions and topics in development including health policy and HIV/AIDS, the digital divide, sustainable development, and the emergence of new development actors (philanthropists, NGOs, emigrants, the military, and terrorist organizations).