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POLI 227 Lecture Notes - Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, Official Development Assistance, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

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MARCH 12, 2012:
News Story: US Soldier who killed 16 Afghanis:
Can be seen one of two ways: it could be that it points to the problems of stress and
posttraumatic stress disorder (not in right mind). On the other hand, it will give an
additional push to the drawdown of U.S. forces, and it is especially controversial
after the Qur’an burning incident. Polls are now showing the majority of America
believes that the US mission in Afghanistan is unattainable. The political context in
the US makes it easy for the next administration to draw down troops faster. It will
likely just result in a hastening of the inevitable drawdown and removal of US
troops, which will result in a civil war in Afghanistan that the Afghan government
will slowly lose.
Dependency approach: the obstacles
o MNCs
o Primary products (continued dependence and the vulnerability to market
fluctuations the dependency approach would point to continue Western
o Technology (dominated by the West)
o Debt (debt burden, debt servicing make it difficult for developing countries
to ever get out of debt)
o The limits of official development assistance (it is simply a “band-aid” when
faced with all the structural constrains. It really won’t change the situation
because it doesn’t question structural realities.
The rich get richer (there is a big gap- middle income countries are not catching up)
MNCs (dependency approach would look at MNCs and where they’re
headquartered- US, Japan, Europe, etc. The major MNCs continue to be Western and
make key investment decisions).
Debt (1970s and 1980s saw the emergence of a debt crisis- especially for developing
countries. By the mid 1990s, Sun Saharan Africa owed 100% of its GNP to debt.)
Debt (HIPCs) highly indebted poor countries are concentrated in sub-Saharan
Africa, also some in South America, South Asia, and Central America.)
Official development assistance (most countries are quite- the Western world keeps
talking about a 0.7% target but other than the Scandinavian countries no one has
been meeting this).
Canadian ODA (is around 0.3% of GDP)
Dependency approach: solutions?
Expanded state role/nationalization
BUT often bloated, inefficient public sector
Decoupling, ISI?
BUT advantages of trade are important- comparative advantages need to be used
Producer Cartels- if you are a primary product producer, you could cooperate with
other primary product producers to get a better price (especially if it’s non-
BUT require inelastic product, low stocks (no stockpiling), robust suppliers (who
can withstand pressure from people not buying it for a while when the price goes
up), cohesion (it falls apart if one person doesn’t reduce their production), control
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