State Failure, State Success and Development


Why do some nations develop while others languish? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining the role governments play in development and economic outcomes. Knee-jerk ideologues from all parts of the political spectrum make competing arguments, most of which are overly simplistic and ignore good social science. Some argue that state involvement in the economy hinders economic activity and development, while others argue for greater state involvement. Such arguments are often poorly informed by systematic rigorous research. We will look at some of the competing arguments about governments in failed and successful states and compare those arguments to the empirical world, or data. In so doing we will recognize that how governments affect development and economic outcomes in society is neither straightforward nor consistent with any of the simplistic ideological screeds that often dominate public discourse.
Course Attributes: EN S; AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC