Why are some countries richer than others? Is it a good thing to have a lot of diamond mines in your country? What things make a country ‘developed’ and will currently ‘developing’ ones ever catch up? What social and economic policies have succeeded or failed in helping, and what can international organisations ever achieve?
While trying to answer these questions we will discuss economics, urbanisation, demographics, trade, conflict, dictatorships and democracies. We will look at various factors that may help or hinder economic development, including local resources, institutions or education. By putting development into a historical context we will discuss colonial legacy and question the role of aid and international organizations. Through a field visit to one of the most dynamically developing districts in Budapest we will link the covered topics to our immediate environment and to the economic history of Hungary, discussing the social effects of economic development in an urban context.
The module will help students interested in Economics, International Relations/Political Science, History and Geography (with a special focus on developing countries) to better understand current debates on economic and social development. The assessment will be based on presentations and on a final paper.