Writing Seminar in Cultural Studies and Criticism: Economic Development
How do we explain the vast disparities in standards of living around the world? What can be done about it? Something of an instant classic, Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson is the result of a long-term collaboration between an economist and a political scientist. Their thesis is that one must look beyond traditional social science explanations of the wealth of nations to history and, more specifically, to the institutions that set the rules of the game in a society. They illustrate their points using contemporary examples including the United States, Brazil, Russia, and China as well as ancient civilizations such as the Mayan city states and the Ghana empire. Taught by a retired U.S. diplomat, the seminar will draw on the work of Acemoglu and Robinson to explore ideas about economic development and inequality, both in the international context and here at home. Students will write outlines, essays, and various other products, culminating in midterm and final portfolios.
(Part 1 of 2 part Critical Writing Sequence for LPS BA candidates)