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POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - World-Systems Theory, Proletarian Revolution, Multinational Corporation

Political Science
Course Code

of 7
Feb. 7th, 2011
Outliers or Models? Dependent Development
What is development?
Human development:
Micro level lived human being, health, education, literacy, infant
mortality are factors that are important in individual lived
Equitable development:
The distributive or redistributive consequences of development
How is wealth, income, prosperity distributed throughout the
Life chances
Having the skills, education, experience and technology in order to
continually develop
Economic & human capacity necessary for development
Sustainable development:
Sustaining socio-economic development over long term
Political development:
Democracy seen in the political realm to be a form of progress (e.g.
N.B. Development is sense of improvement over time
Focus on aggregate economic growth: how and why do economies grow?
How do economies in the aggregate improve over time?
How to explain? (Growth, aggregate economic growth)
What is the role of theory?
Theories help explain the world, prescribe, and endeavour to predict
which economies will grow or not grow over the long term
Predicators represent different vantage points
A Theoretical Conversation (I) The Cosmopolitcal View
Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally
devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most
beneficial to each. This pursuit of individual advantage is admirably
connected with the universal good of the whole. David Ricardo, 1817
Invisible hand of the market ought to prevail (law of supply & demand),
key to global economy is specialization = leads to a division in labour,
each country, firm specializes creating efficiency (e.g. Barbie)
Global productivity leads to global prosperity, and thus global peace
This is a positive sum view, meaning everyone will benefit as long as
everyone behaves rationally & is not lazy (Adam Smith)
A Theoretical Conversation (II) The Mercantilist View
All England would thus be developed into one
immense/manufacturing city…Germany would scarcely have more to
supply this English world with than childrens toys, wooden clocks &
philosophical writings. -List, p. 53
To maintain btw the recent w/o the extraordinary aid & protection.
p. 42
Benefits the hegemony, what matters in the global political economy
are states (countries)
Unit of analysis, individual in the Smith view, for List & Hamilton its
about nations
Some nations benefit from other nations its an unfair system
Impractical that new nations can compete with older nations, disparity
forbids a successful rivalry
Visible hand of government in order to create more equal terms,
requires the visible hand of government to create comparative
Low end manufactured goods would be produced if we follow Smith,
thus government must create comparative advantages
Efforts of government to grow their own industries, difficult for new
countries to compete with long established economies like England
(III) The Leninist View
Imperialism is the substitution of capitalist monopolies for capitalist
intense antagonisms, frictions & conflict -Lenin
Capitalism contradictory, according to Marx largely due to exploitative
nature which will lead to a Proletarian revolution, ending capitalism
(establishing a communist system)
Highest orders of capitalism would sow their own seeds of demise
Notion of everyone competing, leads to monopoly capitalism (huge
firms that acquire capital, in time so much capital that it cannot invest
in its economy (called hot capital)
Hot capital must leave through imperialism commercial interest,
expansion of colonial imperialisms
For Lenin its about finance capital that needs to leave the system, it
does so by taking over other countries, violently
Inequality, imbalance
World Systems Theory
Inspired by Marxist/Leninist Tradition
3 key points: 1) world capital system is inherently exploitative, and it
has to be for the system to work, 2) global system (not a country, firm)
its the nature of the system itself that matters, 3) structural theory
its just the way in which the world is structures, humans subsumed by
this structure
Immanuel Wallerstein:
Coined idea of world systems theory
A systemic view of global capitalism:
Smith understood capitalism as European, rest of the world
inconsequential, as did List (for him about Germany, & the rest of
Global capitalist system included the established powers, as well as the
countries that were uncivilized
Liberal ideological hegemony:
Ideological dominance throughout the modern era that privileged
liberalism, and Adam Smiths view of the world (of free trade)
Writing in an era in which the dominant idea is free trade
Deeply immersed in liberal ideology