Development is a political process. It creates winners and losers while requiring cooperation among powerful competing interests and coalitions. This course is a broad-gauged introduction to how politics works (and fails) to manage conflict, generate economic growth, and ensure the representation of broad rather than narrow groups. We examine core theories of political competition, institutions, state-building, conflict, regulation, culture, and entrepreneurship and evaluate these theories against cases and data from across the developed and developing world. The emphasis is on developing frameworks that students will draw on to study the political economy of a policy area of their choice.
The course is required of, and open only to, candidates for the MPA/ID degree at the Harvard Kennedy School.