Problems of Political Development (POL4255.01)

Rotimi Suberu

Many polities in the world today, particularly in the global South, lack durable, legitimate and effective political institutions and governmental systems. These countries are in the throes of wrenching political transitions and crises that compound weak governance institutions with economic malaise, social polarization, cultural‐territorial fragmentation and/or state disintegration. This course analyzes some of the basic issues and challenges associated with the struggles to create viable political institutions and modern states. Topics to be explored include: theories of political development; the historical lessons of state and nation‐building since the Industrial Revolution; the legacies of colonialism; the role or influence of non‐democratic or pseudo‐democratic regimes; political corruption, clientelism and patronage; political order and political decay; and the struggles to achieve political accountability and the rule of law.


Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this course, you should be able to:

1. understand, and distinguish between, the major dimensions or components of political development, including state-building, rule of law, and political accountability;
2. analyze and evaluate various theories, “schools” and critiques of political development;
3. discuss similarities and differences in the development of political institutions in the global south and north;
4. undertake independent and intensive research on a specific topic, problem, or case study in political development.




Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Previous coursework in SCT or CAPA. Preference will be given to students who email (rsuberu@bennington.edu) on a first come, first serve basis.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Politics , Fully In-Person
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