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Lecture 1

IDSB01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Simple Living, Political Economy, Microsoft Powerpoint

International Development Studies
Course Code
Ryan Isakson

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What is the Political Economy and Why Relevant to the Study of International Development ?
Definitions and Vision
Economics VS Political Economy, difference but overlap
Economics: The study of how individuals, firms, and government make choices about the
allocation of scare resources in order to satisfy unlimited wants
Political economist takes issue with this understanding -> issue with the idea of unlimited wants
and needs humans never happy unless they consume more always wants to increase their
utility, Political Economy (PE) says that some societies down value unlimited wants some value
simple living , not inherent human quality rather a social construct according to P.E
Also take issue with scarcity -> in the world today ppl are starving ppl say need to make
agriculture more effective ->ways to do this = grow more food, genetically modified seeds etc
to satisfy hunger BUT produce enough to feed 10 billion therefore not so much about scarcity
more about allocation therefore can’t presume sacrity
Issue with choice some ppl have more choices than others -> not equal, choice shaped by
variables like race, gender, where we are in the world, mobility, abilities -> some roles ppl play
in an economic not their choices e.x slaves, migrant workers have limited choices within
economy THUS cant presume ppl have choice -> main point choice is unequal
All in all -> political economy no assume unlimited wants, choice, or scarcity they question it
Conventional Vision
look at power point to see diagram,
key to note: households not site of production, they are simply buyers everything they need to
conventional economic vision of what the economy is business -> suppliers and household ->
Political Economy
The study off how humans interact with one another in nature in the production, distribution, and
consumption of G & S i.e. social provisioning
Really emphasize the role of political processes , how power and politics influence how humans
interact with one another and interact within nature
Vision in Political Economy
P.E says you have three sphere -> Business Sphere + Public Sphere + Core Sphere
Business sphere -> business will sell goods and services BUT P. E recognize that the business
play a key role in providing g+s but also have other key actors that provides g+s have the core
sphere and public sphere -> government (Public Sphere) provides health care, food, security ->
Communities (core sphere) can provide their ppl with food, education e.x mormons in Utah
church provide ppl with food and payed for their schooling THEREFORE shows that not only
business can provide g+s
THUS Economic provision can take place in multiple spheres -> business, public, core
(community , church groups ex)
political economics say different places where economic activity takes places but want to know
find more resources at
find more resources at
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