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Governance and Diversity in Developing Countries

Vak 2018-2019


Economic development was long considered a structural pre-requisite for (sustained) democracy. During the 1980s/90s the presumed relationship became reversed: democracy and ‘good governance’ came to be considered essential conditions for development. We will discuss several aspects of the complex relation between democracy and development, and how both issues are related to (ethnic) diversity. We will also discuss the rise of the good governance agenda, and the so-called Post-Washington consensus in which governance, participation and poverty reduction became central issues in development policy. The presence of ethnic or religious diversity in virtually all developing countries implies that basic (individual or group) rights and concerns for distribution and equality merit a central place in politics of development. Students will prepare case studies, which can be chosen from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Course Objectives

Objective 1: Students acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of governance and regime types in developing countries, with a special attention to issues of (ethnic) diversity and development.
Objective 2: Student learn to apply and critically judge the literature on this topic and to design and conduct empirical research on a theme of their choice within the overall theme of the course.

Mode of Instruction

Seminar: mini-lectures, close reading, discussions and presentations. Preparation is essential for participation in class.

Assessment Method

The assessment of the course will be based on

Presentation (literature): 20%
Reaction Paper 20%
Final paper: 60%

Students’ participation and presence in class will be essential for finishing this course. Missing more than 2 sessions without a medical or other serious reason will result in non-completion of the course.

Final papers are to be around 4000 words, double-spaced and properly referenced. They should be analytical essays on major issues related to the issues raised in this course. Papers have an empirical and/or theoretical component and should use or refer to the literature discussed in class.

Papers have to be submitted in both printed version (secretariat or to the lecturer) and in electronic format through the blackboard site of the course.

Study Material

See Blackboard


See Preliminary Info