Spring 2009 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: International Development
Instructor(s): Catherine Weaver
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 62365
Day & Time: Mondays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.106
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Any foray into international development must have a firm grounding in the major theories, history and strategies of international development. This course is designed to provide this comprehensive foundation. Among the big questions we will investigate and debate are: Why are some countries rich and others poor? How have we defined and pursued socioeconomic development over time, and with what results? What strategies for sustainable growth in developing countries have proven effective (or not)? What are the key issues or challenges to international development today? Who should be doing the developing, and through what means?

We begin the course with an in-depth analysis of the historical evolution of economic development theory and policies. We focus in particular on the contentious debates between, and the historical experiences of, state-led versus market-led development models. From there, we will examine some of the most salient themes in development discourse and practice today, such as the effect of corruption, resource dependence, geography and international trade structures on socioeconomic growth and development. We will end the course with a critical assessment of contemporary foreign aid practices, including the Millennium Development Goals.

Throughout the semester, I will emphasize exposure to multiple points of view, from varying disciplines, methodologies, and ideologies. Students will gain experience with important statistical databases (such as the World Development Indicators) and an exposure to a wide range of both quantitative and qualitative materials. Assignments will emphasize primary research and will focus on building critical writing, analytical and presentation skills that will demonstrate a broad understanding of the key issues and challenges facing international development today.

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