Document Type

Graduate Syllabus


Fall 2019



Course Number

DIPL 6704 NA

Course Description

Of the four major less developed regions in the world (East and South Asia, Latin America and Africa), Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter SSA) has performed the worst economically since 1975. Explaining this poor economic development has occupied development theorists, aid agencies, international institutions and African governments and people alike. The purpose of this course is to examine the reasons advanced to explain the under-development of Africa through a primarily political economy framework, as the African continent is testament to the fact that economic development is affected by political contexts. We will explore explanations that include history (the legacy of a colonial past); internal factors (neo-patrimonialism, poor leadership) and external factors (international assistance, neo-colonialism). In addition, given that Africa is a continent made up of specific countries, with different experiences, the course will also aim to make known some of these differences and variations across different regions and countries.