POLB90 Comparative Development in International Perspective at the University of Toronto at Scarborough

Economic crisis and persistent poverty have characterized many of the countries of the global south. The roots of these difficulties stem largely from unequal global and domestic power relationships. This course focuses on the international power relations that have shaped domestic politics and political processes, and on some of the struggles that have resisted these pressures. Course Outline.

POL2400 is the core Development Studies course in the Political Science PhD program, taught on the St. George campus.This course provides a selective overview of some of the theoretical and conceptual issues and debates that have dominated the study of the global south. These issues and debates are not necessarily exclusive to the global south and may also be relevant to the study of politics in other contexts. The first section of the course discusses the evolution of the major theoretical approaches, largely generated in the west, that have attempted to explain the social, economic and political experiences of the countries of the global south. The course then moves on to a more focussed examination of some of the key concepts and debates involved in the analysis of domestic political processes. The course is designed to help prepare Ph.D. students for the field exam, for teaching, and for future research activities by encouraging critical thinking about political science and development studies. Course Outline.

POLC91 Latin America: Dictatorship and Democracy at the University of Toronto at Scarborough

This course introduces students to the politics of Latin America through examining the region’s cycles of authoritarian and democratic rule. It opens with a discussion of the approach to the study of Latin American politics focussing on an understanding of context and history, followed by an examination of key concepts used to explain the region’s cycles of authoritarianism and democracy. In the following weeks, we examine the historical origins of Latin American authoritarianism including colonial rule, military dictatorships, and the impact of U.S. intervention. We then turn to more recent developments including impact of market liberalization and its implications for democracy and development. The rise of left movements and regimes is examined in depth with case studies of Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Chile. These case studies will all involve a discussion of recent events including the impact of the drop of commodity prices on democracy and social justice. Course Outline.

POLD90 Public Policy and Human Development in the Global South at the University of Toronto at Scarborough

This course takes as its starting point the fact that most countries of the Global South face enormous challenges in improving the welfare of their populations. We begin by examining the meaning of “human development” and the impact of poverty and inequality on life chances. We then turn to a discussion of the constraints imposed by domestic power structures and by the current international economic and political order on policies that could contribute to improved social outcomes. The course continues with an in-depth examination of the policy experiences and challenges of the specific cases of South Korea, Botswana, and Mexico—countries with distinct policy and social improvement outcomes. The final weeks of the course are devoted to a discussion of strategies to reduce poverty in the short and long terms. Course Outline.