57.537 Developing Economies

Developing Economies

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6205
Status Active

This course explores alternative visions of what is meant by development, what is involved in the development process, and who benefits from it. A country must choose the goals (such as growth, equity, or sustainable human development) it hopes to achieve and develop a strategy for attaining them. It must make critical decisions regarding the roles of major sectors of the economy (agriculture, industry, services, the extent of foreign involvement), the form of organization they will have (large or small scale, centralized or decentralized, private or public ownership), and the roles of major institutions (government, financial sectors, multinational corporations, and international aid agencies). The theoretical and practical issues we will discuss have broad relevance for understanding the varied development process in Asian countries, the struggles of middle-level developing countries (such as Mexico or Brazil) or the despair of the broad group of countries for which development seems an increasingly dimmer vision (many African countries). The course emphasizes interconnections in the world economy. On the one hand, policies shaped by institutions in First World or industrialized countries have a significant and often adverse impact on developing countries. On the other hand, the failure of development programs in many countries thought to be "developing" has a critical impact on the future of industrialized nations. Students will be expected to develop thoughtful positions on current controversial issues in development and to suggest appropriate strategies for change.