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19 Feb 2011
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LECTURE 1:
Domestic Power Structures and Development
I. Course Intro.
II. State Power
III. DevelopmentTraps
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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.
Roots of Despotic Power:
-State borders and institutions were imposed by colonial rules
-Strong despotic or coercive power but weak infrastructural or transformative
power
-Purpose of colonial rule was extractive rather than developmental
-The power structure of the colonial state was intended by ruling elites after
independence to protect their interests
Types of State Power:
1. Despotic Power: the power to control and suppress (Global south, Columbia)
2. Infrastructural Power: the power to administer and transform (Global north)
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:resource curse” – 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 neighbours, the more likely
you are to be poor (eg. Switzerland, Germany and Austria)
Bad Governance Trap: Poor government leads to poor policy and low economic
development.
1
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Document Summary

Domestic power structures and development: course intro. [see syllabus under course information on web page] A major determinant of development strategies and outcomes is the character of the state, and the domestic power structures and political coalitions underpinning it. State borders and institutions were imposed by colonial rules. Strong despotic or coercive power but weak infrastructural or transformative power. Purpose of colonial rule was extractive rather than developmental. The power structure of the colonial state was intended by ruling elites after independence to protect their interests. Types of state power: despotic power: the power to control and suppress (global south, columbia, infrastructural power: the power to administer and transform (global north) 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).

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