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Democracy and Development

Module Code: PO3670

Module Name: Democracy and Development 2017-18

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas + Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Dr Michelle D'Arcy

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between political institutions and economic development
  • Debate which institutions matter most for development: states, nations or regimes
  • Evaluate the historical evolution of democracy and nation states in the West
  • Compare Western experiences of political and economic development with those of developing countries today

Module Learning Aims

By the end of this module, students will be familiar with the major debates about how different institutions matter for development.


Module Content

In this module we will address the question of how political institutions affect economic development.  We will examine three core sets of institutions - state, nation, and regime – examining their character and development in both historical and contemporary perspective.  We will look at how democratic nation states emerged in the West, comparing this to the experiences of contemporary developing countries. We will consider the major theories on how these institutions impact on development and what empirical evidence we have about this relationship.  The course will also consider how a new set of actors – international donors and financial institutions like the World Bank – are impacting on politics in the developing world.

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Recommended Reading List

Tilly, Charles. 1992. Coercion, Capital and European States AD 990-1992. Blackwell Publishing.

Fukuyama, Francis. 2011. The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution. Macmillan.

Walle, Nicolas van de. 2001. African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, 1979-1999. Cambridge University Press.

Herbst, Jeffrey. 2000. States and Power in Africa. Princeton University Press.

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Assessment Details

  • Attendance at tutorials and response papers: 7%
  • 2 essays: 18%
  • Final exam: 75%

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Last updated 24 August 2017 polsci@tcd.ie.