At LSE I am convenor of the MSc in African Development and offer the Political Economy of Africa course (DV435) for this programme. In Government I co-teach Comparative Political Economy (GV517) with David Soskice and GV335, a MT undergraduate-level course on African politics and political economy.
I am also one of the organizers of the Comparative Politics/ Comparative Political Economy (CP/CPE) seminar series in Government, and run the LT 2017 Land Politics Reading Group with LSE ID PhD student Carolin Dieterle (see "research projects").
Course overviews and syllabi: African Political Economy MT 2017 African Political Economy 2016 This class is an introduction to the study of contemporary African political economy, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. DV435 plus DV418 constitute the core course for the MSc in African Development. Enrolment is not restricted to MSc in African Development students. The goal of DV435 to set major questions of state, national economy, development in historical, geographic, and international context. Course readings and lectures stress marked unevenness in national and subnational trajectories and in the political-economic character of different African countries, drawing attention to causes of similarity and difference across and within countries. Students completing DV435 will come away with a better understanding of the economic and social underpinnings of order and conflict in African states. There is a research-driven component to DV435: each student will leverage the secondary literature, grey literature, and other sources to develop particular knowledge of two countries. These will be used as "case studies" in assessed coursework to evaluate general arguments concerning the political economy of Africa, and to compare/contrast the trajectories of different African states. The design of this course component matches the learning aims of the course: to understand the political-economic causes and effects diversity and commonalities over space, time, and institutional scale in African counties.
The course provides an analytical and empirical base for DV418, African Development. DV418, centers on understanding debates that shape economic development strategies and policies. DV418 takes up questions of taxation; savings and investment policy; sectoral issues and debates focused on industry, agriculture, finance, and social policy regimes; and international trade and aid regimes.
Comparative Political Economy (with D.Soskice) LT 2018 (course syllabus). This half-unit reading and research seminar will survey a set of major topics in the Comparative Political Economy (CPE) of advanced capitalist and developing countries. We will consider different analytic strategies for conceptualizing variation in national economic structure, explaining change in economic structure, and understanding the political causes and effects thereof. The seminar is designed for PhD students (research students) across the School wanting to familiarize themselves with some of the major themes, controversies, and research frontiers in CPE. Our goal is to nurture innovation in doctoral-level CPE research at the LSE. The seminar is run by Catherine Boone and David Soskice. Boone’s main work is on the CPE of African economies and the developing world more generally, while Soskice works on the CPE of the advanced world.
We have two objectives in this course. CPE research has changed very substantially over the last two decades or so, reflecting rapid and radical changes in how economies function, whether in the advanced world or the late- or non-developing world. CPE teaching has changed more slowly. Our first objective is to develop a course focused on understanding how the contemporary world works. While situating our analyses in the context of a changing global economy, our focus will be on describing and explaining transformation at the level of nation states. Drivers of change can be found in the locus and organization of political power, in technological change, and/or in the dynamics of capital. Our seminar will explore both productive connections and tensions that emerge across explanatory models. We are particularly interested in how/why/to what extent the global financial crisis of 2008 has confirmed, undermined, or transformed "varieties of capitalism" and how CPE scholars should understand their similarities, differences, and dynamics. And how do these problems, concepts, theories and empirical categories travel to the global South? Course materials are organized around three major topic areas: accumulation, redistribution, and domestic regimes. A great many questions fit into these areas and our idea is that the seminars should enable students to raise issues related to their research.
Globalization, Causes and Effect: The US in Comparative Perspective (UT Austin 2013). This course examines changes in world politics and economics that are producing globalization, understood as the deepening integration of world financial markets, and asks what this means for the US and for other countries and regions of the world. Is globalization a threatening force that should be contained by Americans, or should it be promoted? How is it affecting American democracy and standards of living, and peace and well-being in other parts the world? What are national choices? Through assigned and recommended class readings, films, lectures, and class discussions, we will explore "globalization" and its social, economic, and political causes and effects. We will place the American experience in comparative perspective by looking at causes and effects of globalization as evident in the European Union, China, and Africa. The course pursues three goals.
The first is to encourage and enable students to think analytically (historically and comparatively) about relationships between market forces (technology, supply and demand, competition, and firm-level logics) and the political regulation of markets. Students will gain a general overview of how the international political economy has changed since the mid-20th century. This provides a basis for understanding and analyzing some of the big questions about globalization in the 21st century: Is it necessary or possible to regulate the global economy? What aspects of global economic integration have governments sought to regulate through international institutions? How can and how should goverments seek to main the legitimacy of market systems?
The second goal is to place broad changes in the US economy, 1950s to 2010s, in historical, international, and comparative context. How have patterns of US integration into the world economy changed over time? How have US domestic and foreign policies shaped "globalization," and how has this process contributed to reshaping our society and our democracy? What if anything has Europe done differently?
The third is to look at what "globalization" means for the developing world, creating both opportunities and strains that shape possibilities for sustainable global economic governance. This part of the class stresses the uneven effects of growing integration of the world economy, underscoring the tension between the regulatory powers of national government in an increasingly internationalized economy. This allows students to see some of the forces that are driving change in domestic economies and in the structure of the international system.
The goal of the course is to introduce students to debates, concepts, and main outlines of the historical record, not to offer a comprehensive overview. Some topics we discuss are matters of partisan debate in the US (eg. trade policy, financial sector reform, tax policy, industrial policy, labor market regulation, US policy toward China). Class members are encouraged to air and discuss different points of view. We do not seek consensus around (or to resolve) these debates in our class.
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