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Lecture 1

Political Science
Course Code
R Rice

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Domestic Power Structures and Development
I. Course Intro.
II. State Power
III. DevelopmentTraps
I. Course Introduction
[see syllabus under “Course Information” on web page]
II. State Power
A major determinant of development strategies and outcomes is the character of the state,
and the domestic power structures and political coalitions underpinning it.
Types of State Power:
1. Despotic Power: the power to control and suppress. (Global South)
2. Infrastructural Power: the power to administer and transform. (Global North)
Roots of Despotic Power
-State borders and institutions were imposed by colonial rules.
-Strong despotic or coercive power but weak infrastructural.
-Purpose and point of colonial rule was extractable rather than developmental.
-Power structure of colonial state was in trench by ruling elites after independence
to protect their own interests.
What are power structures that characterize the country?
How do power structures impact upon Economic development?
III. Development Traps
Development Trap: the vicious circle of poverty that prevents a country from developing
Collier’s Thesis: the real challenge of development is that there is a group of countries at
the bottom that are falling behind, and often falling apart (e.g. the bottom billion).
Conflict Trap: War makes a country poor, and poverty makes a country prone to war.
Natural Resources Trap: Aka “resource course” countries with an abundant supply of a
single valuable natural resource tend to have lower levels of development.
Landlocked with Bad Neighbours Trap: The poorer your neighbors, the more likely you
are to be poor.
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