GEN ED: Historical and Social Perspective (Theme: "Capitalism and Its Critics")
This course traces the development of the world economy to the present, focusing on the search for the determinants of economic success and the various solutions that have been offered. The long term changes in world income and population are quantified (mainly for the second millennium), the forces that explain the success of rich countries are identified, and the obstacles that hindered economic advance in lagging regions are explored. We will emphasize the interaction between empirical methods and interdisciplinary theories. The interaction between wealthy nations and the rest of the world is scrutinized to assess the degree to which backwardness may have been due to Western policy. Also, special emphasis will be placed on the analysis of government spending patterns and the economic impact of conflicts.