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POL 65 — Poverty and Prosperity: Foundations of Economic Development

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 22—Mar 18
Time: 5:00—6:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 24
Unit: 1
Tuition: $395
Instructor(s): Dinsha Mistree
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on February 19
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
5:00—6:50 pm (PT)
Jan 22—Mar 18
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 24
1 Unit
Dinsha Mistree
Please Note: No class on February 19
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
What shapes the destiny of nations? Why do some nations flourish while others grapple with underdevelopment? How can policymakers create a beacon of well-being—particularly economic well-being—in the world’s underdeveloped areas? This course regards economic development not just as a destination but as an ongoing journey. We will examine regions where successful stories have emerged, and together, we will seek to understand the intricate interplay between states and markets, the ability of governments to perform essential functions, the role of different political regimes, and the potential tension between economic expansion and equitable distribution.

The course will begin by defining what success and failure in development mean and then consider potential pathways to economic well-being. We will examine unique tales of success and failure in the developing world, from East Asia’s rapid ascent to the nuanced stories of Latin America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. As we examine theoretical and historical insights, we will also explore real-world applications of theory, diving into political and legal reforms, innovative policy measurement methods, and cutting-edge technologies poised to reshape the distribution landscape. Students will examine scholarly readings and diverse examples of policy proposals from academics, NGOs, international bodies, and states. Together, we will craft a panoramic view of development grounded in optimism, innovation, and the shared aspiration for a more equitable future for all.

Stanford Continuing Studies has lowered the tuition for this course as part of our mission to increase access to education around issues related to equity and social justice.

Affiliate, Neukom Center for the Rule of Law, Stanford Law School; Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford

​​Dinsha Mistree manages the Huntington Program on Strengthening US-Indian Relations at the Hoover Institution. He is an affiliated scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Mistree studies the relationship between education, governance, and economic growth in developing countries. His scholarship concentrates on the political economy of legal systems, public administration, and education policy, with a regional focus on India. He received a PhD and an MA in politics from Princeton. His published work appears in a wide range of outlets, including Stanford Law Review, Social Science & Medicine, and Public Administration Review.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.