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This class will survey both the major policy issues in the developing world today and the political economy literature. The class seeks to inform students of the historical and contemporary dynamics of economic development, with a focus on political issues.

The developing countries are undergoing a period of heightened change, which intensifies distributional tensions because of the uncertainty change engenders and because the growth process is rarely spread evenly across ethnic group, region, and class.

One of the course's organizing premise is that all economic policies have distributional consequences and that the winners and losers' ability to mobilize for and against policies largely determine the success or failure of the policies. The other is that state structures play a critical role in the process of development.