Symposium on the Political Economy of Development

October 2–4, 2020

This conference is closed to the public.

Building on the recent research that documents the range of transformations under way in Africa, and taking account of the extensive work on the subject across a range of disciplines, the Symposium on the Political Economy of Development will focus on sub-Saharan Africa. As sub-Saharan Africa transforms—with far-reaching demographic, economic, social, and political-institutional changes—the time is appropriate to examine both the sources of these changes and their scope, as well their likely impacts on citizens and leaders across the continent.

Building on existing research, and taking it as a point of departure, contributors to the symposium themselves cover a broad range of topics in the political economy of development. Speakers engage a number of axes of analysis: (1) the relationships between politics and crime and between politicians and criminals, in terms of organized political violence, voter behavior and responses to corruption, and the choices politicians make in order to gain support, maintain status, and serve themselves and their constituency; (2) the evolving role of extractive resources and transnational partnerships in development; (3) the politics of hosting refugees and the prospects of repatriation; and (4) transnational social media influences on political information dissemination and uptake. Collectively, the presentations at the symposium analyze the role of domestic and international politics in economic and social development, acknowledging their debt to the core insights in contemporary research, but also demonstrating how to build new insights and theories.

Cosponsored by the University of Michigan and World Development journal.

See also: Conferences, 2020


Arun Agrawal

Samuel Trask Dana Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), University of Michigan.