Weekend Reading: Stephen Fritz on Robert Citino's "Death Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942"

2018 Fall DEVENG 215 Pre-Class Introduction and Notes

School of Athens

DEVENG 215: Global Poverty Challenges and Hopes: A Perspective for Development Engineers:

Discussion: J. Bradford DeLong: TU 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Mulford 230
Lecture: Fatmir Haskaj: TU, TH 2:00 pm - 3:29 pm Valley Life Sciences 2050

This graduate Development Engineering class has the following goals:

  1. Assist students in orienting themselves to the current global debates about poverty and inequality by exposing them to alternative paradigms of development and welfare situated in their historical context.

  2. Assist students in familiarizing themselves with the institutions and actors—from the World Bank to global social movements, from national and local governments to nonprofits and NGOs, from multinational corporations to philanthropic foundations—attempting to act to diminish global poverty.

  3. Assist students in critically reflecting upon philosophies of global justice, the ethics of global citizenship, their own engagements with poverty action, and their own aspirations for social change.

  4. Prevent students from maintaining or accepting the the comfortable perception that poverty exists elsewhere, can be contained at a distance, does not affect them and their communities every day.

The hope is to accomplish all these tasks at the graduate student level, with a focus on how the social-political-economic context constrains and opens opportunities for successful Development Engineering. The hope is to do this on the cheap, without committing lots of additional resources.

My idea is to do this by building on the lectures and readings of Fatmir Haskaj's undergraduate course GPP 115: Global Poverty: Challenges and Hopes in the New Millennium. We will add additional readings and a graduate-level discussion seminar to attempt to supercharge what Fatmir does. Hence this syllabus incorporates-by-reference the GPP 115 syllabus…

Fatmir's course describes itself as:

seek[ing] to provide a rigorous understanding of 20th century development and thus 21st century poverty alleviation. Students will take a look at popular ideas of poverty alleviation, the institutional framework of poverty ideas and practices, and the social and political mobilizations that seek to transform the structures of poverty...

From the graduate Development Engineering Program perspective, this course—while completely fine for what it is—is not quite what we want. It is too "idealist"—incorporates too much of an implicit belief that once one understands the world, it will immediately become obvious how to change it, which belief is a common disease thought by academics like me. And it is too "macro"—individual development engineers are not going to lead social and political mobilizations and transform structures, but rather work in the context created by existing structures and mobilizations, in the hope of taking small steps in a good direction. Therefore post-lecture discussions will focus on: "OK. Very good. Now how does this affect how we will act when the rubber meets the road?"

Additional Discussion Readings:

Week 1: Imagining the End of Poverty: (1) Partha Dasgupta: Economics: A Very Short Introduction. (2) Max Roser et al.: Our World in Data (browse)

Week 2: The Concept of Development: Amartya Sen (1988): “The Concept of Development,” Handbook of Development Economics, Volume 1

Week 3: From “Modernization” to “Development”: (1) Francis Fukuyama (2014): Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy, pp. 23-65. (2) Last Pritchett (2018):. “Can Rich Countries be Reliable Partners for National Development?”

Week 4: “Modernity”, Poverty, and “Development”: David Lindauer and Lant Pritchett (21001): “What's the Big Idea?: The Third Generation of Policies for Economic Growth”, Economía, 3(1): 1-39. (2) Martin Ravallion (2013): “Lessons from A History of thought on Poverty”

Week 5: The Globalization Project: (1) J. Bradford DeLong, Christopher L. DeLong, and Sherman Robinson: "The Case for Mexico’s Rescue". (2) J. Bradford DeLong: "Aftathoughts on NAFTA"

Week 6: Kleptocracy in the Global North: (1) Alex Tabarrok (2015): “The Ferguson Kleptocracy,” Marginal Revolution. (2) Suresh Naidu: What Marx Really Meant

Week 7: Kleptocracy in the Global South: (1) Kaushik Basu (1986): “One Kind of Power,” Oxford Economic Papers, 38, 259-282. (2) Robert H. Bates, John H. Coatsworth, and Jeffrey G. Williamson. 2007. “Lost Decades: Post-Independence Performance in Latin America and Africa.”

Week 8: Globalization: Reflection: (1) Daron Acemoğlu, Suresh Naidu, James Robinson, and Pascual Restrepo: "Democracy Causes Economic Development?" (2) Robert Allen: Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Week 9: Microfinance: TBA

Week 10: The Poverty Business?: Abhijit Banerjee (1997) “A Theory of MisGovernance,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(4), pp. 1289-1332

Qian, Nancy. 2008. “Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123(3): 1251-1285.

Week 11: Disaster—Katrina and Haiti This week we tackle two pivotal moments that have shaped the recent global imagination about poverty: Katrina and Haiti. We will study how such seemingly natural disasters make visible poverty and inequality. We will also take on the issue of “disaster capitalism,” a process that bears resemblance to our earlier discussion of the poverty business. To better understand the consequences of disaster capitalism we will take a closer look at post-Katrina recovery in New Orleans

Murphy, Kevin Murphy, Andrei Sheilfer, and Robert Vishny (1993). “Why Is Rent-Seeking so Costly to Growth?”, The American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 83, No. 2, pp. 409-414. Kremer, Michael and Edward Miguel. 2007. The Illusion of Sustainability, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(3): 1007-1065.

Week 12: Disaster Capitalism and the Limits of Nature This week we will continue our discussion of disasters in two ways. First, we will situate the analysis of disaster capitalism in a historicized examination of the American welfare state, especially its race, gender, and class dimensions.


Week 13: Philanthrocapitalism Is “compassionate consumption” possible? Is “compassionate consumption” useful for reducing poverty? Does it greatly overstate the appearance of agency on behalf of those who wish to contribute positively to global civil society? To what degree are public-private-celebrity partnerships a solution? A distraction? A further problem?

Alsan, Marcella. “The Effect of the Tsetse Fly on African Development.” The American Economic Review 105, no. 1 (2014): 382–410 J. Bradford DeLong: “Oversharing About Money” http://delong.typepad.com/delong_long_form/2014/07/oversharing-about-money-an-international-financial-wire-transfer-from-lafayette-california-usa-to-ahero-nyando-district.html

Week 14: Global Commodities: Trade, Labor, and Coffee Whatever becomes of value in the global economy attracts two types of attention: Some people seek to transfer resources in exchange for participation in it—thus empowering those whose work and endowments are now of value. Other people seek to control it, via force, fraud, legal process, or market-institutional rearrangement—thus disempowering those whose work and endowments have now attracted the attention of powerful outsiders. How to make the outcome more one of win-win cooperation and exchange than win-lose power dynamics?

J. Robert Subrick (2017): “The Political Economy of Black Panther’s Wakanda” Neil Parsons: King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen: Victorian Britain through African Eyes, selections Ferguson, James Ferguson Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt, selections

Week 15: Imagining post-Millennial Development In this closing week we will focus on what has been a fundamental principle for the conceptualization and teaching of this course: the ethics of global citizenship. We will discuss and debate different understandings of this ethics and examine our role in the practice of global citizenship.

Amartya Sen (1999): “Democracy as a universal value.” Journal of Democracy 10.3 (1999):3-17 Suresh Naidu (2012): “Suffrage, Schooling, and Sorting in the post-bellum US South” w18129. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012

Week 16: Problem Spaces: Reflection James Ferguson with L. Lohmann. 1994. “The anti-politics machine: ‘development’ and bureaucratic power in Lesotho.” The Ecologist 24(5). Richard Hornbeck, and Suresh Naidu (2014) “When the Levee Breaks: Black Migration and Economic Development in the American South,” American Economic Review, 104(3), 963–990. Dani Rodrik 2008. “The New Development Economics: We Shall Experiment, but How Shall we Learn?” Rohini Pande 2016 “RCTs and the Politics of Development: How the Questions We Decide to Ask Affect What We Know and How We Act”

Development Engineering_: Through coursework, research mentoring, and professional development, the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering (DE in DevEng) prepares students to develop, pilot, and evaluate technological interventions designed to improve human and economic development within complex, low-resource settings...

....The DE in Dev Eng is an interdisciplinary training program for UC Berkeley doctoral students from any department whose dissertation research includes topics related to the application of technology to address the needs of people living in poverty. Students from all departments can apply. 

With support from USAID’s Global Development Lab, the program builds upon ongoing research in technological innovations, human-centered design, development economics, remote sensing and monitoring, data science, and impact analysis at UC Berkeley. The program also features a Traineeship for Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems, InFEWS.

Dev Eng students are connected to an ecosystem of researchers and practitioners at Berkeley via the Graduate Group in Development Engineering, and also have access to a dynamic global network.

What is a Designated Emphasis? A “Designated Emphasis” (DE) is a campus-wide system that provides doctoral students with certification in specialties outside their home discipline, to be added to their doctorates....