GOV 390L • Comparative Political Economy
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
Political Economy is a term that encompasses an array of theoretical debates, analytic approaches, and research interests. All share a common commitment to transcending the disciplinary boundaries that divided politics and economics in American social science of the 1950s and 1960s. In this class, we explore three political economy approaches for understanding relationships between the state, society, and the market: social structural paradigms in the Marxian tradition, institutionalist approaches, and rational choice. The Spring 2006 seminar will focus on the substantive problem of explaining the origins, meaning, and effects of property rights. Property rights lie at the core of Marxian approaches, because they define and express class relations and reflect the character of the state. Property rights also lie at the core of liberal and rational choice theories, because they are the paradigmatic expression of both social contract between individuals, and between individuals and the state (as expressed for eg. in constitutions). Property regimes can also be understood as institutions, or sets of rules, that govern access to and use of resources, assets, or streams of wealth. The focus on property rights allows us to consider a number of theoretical problems in comparative political economy. We can also consider families of theories that attempt to explain the substantive relationships between property regimes and patterns of political and economic development.
These books have been ordered for this class. Please check the Spring 2006 syllabus for definitive list. Yoram Barzel, Economic Analysis of Property Rights (Cambridge, 1997). Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Beacon Press, 1966). Douglass North, Structure and Change in Economic History (WW Norton, 1981). Jennifer Nedelsky, Private Property and the Limits of American Constitutionalism (Chicago, 1990). Hernando De Soto. The Other Path (Basic, 1989). Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Beacon, 1944). Boix, Charles. Democracy and Redistribution (Cambridge, 2003). Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Beacon Press, 1966). Jack Knight, Institutions and Social Conflict, Cambridge, 1992. Colin Leys, The Rise and Fall of Development Theory (London and Bloomington: James Currey and Indiana U. Press, 1996). Douglass North, Structure and Change in Economic History (WW Norton, 1981). Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action (Harvard Univ. Press, rev. edition 1971). Mounira M. Charrad, States and Women's Rights: The Making of Postcolonials Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco (Univ. of California, 2001). Mark Irving Lichbach and Alan S. Zuckerman, Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture and Structure, (Cambridge, 1997). selections Course Packet