85490 - Politics and Development in The Global World

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

This course provides the students with key concepts and analytical tools to develop an autonomous, critical understanding of the relation between politics and development dynamics in a global context. At the end of the course, the students are aware of the multifaceted, multidisciplinary nature of development and globalization processes and are familiar with the main approaches and theories to the study of development. They know and are able to take stances in several debates (International political economy literature) relative to the following nexuses: growth-development, institutions-development, social capital-development, war-development, multilateralism-development, inequality-development.

Course contents

This graduate course is articulated in two parts. In the first part the main theories and approaches to the study of development as a multidimensional concept and practice are covered, with particular reference to the IPE and CPE literatures, through the deepening of specific aspects of the politics-development nexus (political institutions-development, social capital-political culture-development, regime transition-development).

In the second part of the course current debates and empirical cases are discussed, in light of theories and concepts examined in Part I, with specific reference to the interaction between aid and development, inequality and development. A special attention is devoted to the roles played by state and non-state actors in the construction and redefinition of global economic governance structures and processes, before and after the crisis of 2008.


Part 1


1. The political economy of development, and the evolution of economic development as a policy objective

2.Development and Dependency

3.Growth, Development and Institutions

4.Democracy, Social Capital and Good Governance


Part 2


5. Aid and growth in a global world: the market for aid studies

6. Bretton Woods, the MDGs and the post-2008: the evolution of IFIs and the multilateral fight against poverty

7.Inequality and development: how, where, when and why some have made it and some have not


Reference books *

- Arndt, H. W. (1987) Economic Development, The History of an Idea, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, trad. It. Lo sviluppo economico, storia di un'idea, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1990.

- Sen, A. (1999) Development as Freedom, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press.

- Easterly, W. (2006), The White Man's Burden, Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York.

- Murphy, C. (2008) The World Bank and Global Managerialism, London and New York, Routledge

- Milanovic, B. (2011) The Haves and the Have-Nots, New York, Basic Books.

- Açemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. (2012) Why Nations Fail: Origins of Power, Poverty and Prosperity, New York, Crown Publishers (Random House).

- Deaton, A. (2013) The Great Escape, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press.

- Carothers, T. and De Gramont, D. (2013) Development Aid Confronts Politics: The Almost Revolution, Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

- Banerjee, A. and Duflo, E. (2013) Poor economics: Rethinking Poverty and the Ways to End it, Random House

- Burnell, P. Randall, V. and Lise Rakner (eds) (2014), Politics in the Developing World, IV Ed, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press.

- Piketty, T. (2014) Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Harvard and New York, Cambridge (Mass) and London, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

- Baroncelli, E. (2019) The European Union, the World Bank and the Policymaking of Aid. Cooperation among Developers, London, Routledge.

- Baroncelli, E. and Mulé, R. (eds.) (2017) The Political Economy of Crisis and Change in the New Global Context, Milan, Egea-Unibocconi.

* The specific sections to be prepared for each module within the above texts will be indicated by the instructor and posted through IOL. Both taught and interactive classes may be supplemented with additional references, provided by the instructor, during classes and/or posted through IOL.

Teaching methods

Taught classes and class discussion (if applicable, depending on class size), divided in two modules, with the help of visual tools (ppt and web resources).

Assessment methods

Attending students

The assessment of the acquisition of expected knowledge and abilities by the attending students is based on the following three levels: 1. Short essay (max 2500 wds, including ftnotes and references, worth 40% of the final grade); 2. Final oral exam (worth 40% of the final grade); 3.Class Discussion and Debates (20% of the final grade) on the Syllabus and on topics covered during classes, inclusive of additional readings indicated by the instructor. The short essay must be based on a topic chosen by the student and previously agreed by the instructor, among the topics covered in the syllabus (1 through 7), along a reference list that shall also be approved in advance by the Professor. The short essay must be emailed to the instructor in either .doc or .pdf format no later than two weeks (15 days) prior to the day of the final oral exam. Essays must bear name-surname-registration number of the Author on page 1 - all pages must be numbered clearly. Essays submitted beyond that deadline will not be marked.

The oral exam is articulated through three questions, suggested by the Professor, aimed at testing the student's ability to verbally articulate themes and methods discussed in class, offering the student the opportunity to show her/his ability to critically reassess such material.

Non-attending students

Student who choose not to attend classes will have to cover the same topics and prepare the same readings indicated in the program above (not including class discussions, debates, visual material), and posted through IOL.

In addition, they will have to prepare in full the following text:

- Baroncelli, E. (2019) The European Union, the World Bank and the Policymaking of Aid. Cooperation among Developers, London, Routledge.

Evaluations for non attending students will be based on 1. their short essay (worth 50% of the final grade) and on 2. their final oral exam (worth 50% of the final grade). Similar to attending students, non attending students are required to download study guidelines for the written material assigned, page references and assigned readings as posted through IOL. They are not required to prepare on visual materials shown in class/class debates and discussions.

Teaching tools

Taught classes and class discussions-debates are held with the support of audio-visual tools (ppt, web, footages)

Office hours

See the website of Eugenia Baroncelli