Course Outline

7 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Jennifer Levine

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POLA90H: Politics, Corruption, and Violence, Fall 2010 1 Renan Levine, Department of Social Science Office: BV 430, (416) 208-2651 Office Hours: Tues. 11 am-12 pm; Weds 1:30 - 3 pm Best contact is via email: [email protected] TA information: Sept. 17, 2010 Jennifer Fender [email protected] Isabela Stefjla [email protected] Dilovar Munavvov Marie Eve Reny Overview One of the sharpest differences between developed countries and less-developed countries (LDCs) is that many LDCs suffer from high levels of corruption and violent domestic conflict. The twin curses of corruption and violence seemingly have dire consequences on LDCs, impeding their growth and contributing to decisions by many of their most skilled citizens to find opportunities in the developed world. Our course will begin with a unit focusing on corruption and ask why one might care about corruption. We will then examine different varieties of corruption and the conditions that enable corruption to flourish, including both a lack of and an abundance of state power, political campaigns focused on material wealth, and a history of domination by a foreign power. We then scrutinize the linkages between corruption, its by-products, greed and injustice, and violence. This allows us to transition to our final unit focusing on violence, conflict and civil war, providing a foundation to raise important questions like: a) What motivates violence beyond greed andor grievance? Religion? Long histories of ethnic group competition? b) When do grievances between groups or individuals in a society turn violent and what causes violent conflict to become prolonged? Rich natural resources like diamonds? Perceived threats or overt interference from neighboring countries? c) What impact does changing demographics and globalization have on civil strife? d) Does democratization reduce conflict? We conclude with a brief look at success stories and possible solutions to these curses. Goals At the end of the term, all students will be expected to identify differences in government form, function and performance between LDCs and more prosperous countries and relate these differences to incidence of corruption and violence. Students will familiarize themselves with concepts and terms that describe these differences and social scientific tools that test competing explanations for the circumstances in which we find corruption andor violence. In
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