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The Global Scholars Program Summer Research Workshop: Pathways to Development: East Asia and Latin America in Comparative Perspective

Columbia University presents The Global Scholars Program Summer Research Workshop at Columbia University Global Centers: Beijing and Santiago entitled "Pathways to Development: East Asia and Latin America in Comparative Perspective", taught by Xiaobo Lü, Pablo M. Pinto and Xiaodan Zhang, for the 2013 summer term. Course number EAPS V3870.

January 28, 2013

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the links between politics and economic development. We will draw on the experiences of East Asia and Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries. Fieldwork in China and Chile will also allow students to study and conduct in-depth research on the evolution of the political and economic systems in both countries. The interaction with local leaders in the public and private sector will provide additional insights into the issues associated with economic and political development. In particular, we will explore how development is a contentious process of negotiation, adjustment and empowerment among these players. We will analyze how changes at the domestic and global levels affect the choices made by
governments and economic actors in a historical and comparative perspective. This workshop will utilize the expertise, resources, and cross-regional networks of the Columbia Global Centers in Beijing and Santiago for the selection of research sites and other logistical and administrative issues.

The themes covered in the course include the role of government in development; the effect of political institutions on investment, productivity and the supply of human capital; developmental strategies and economic reform; and the link between
globalization and economic growth.

Collecting qualitative data is an important part of the class activities. Students will be introduced to briefing, observation, and interview (group and individual) research techniques used in anthropology, political science, and sociology. Visiting different research sites and talking to people in both formal and informal settings will give students opportunities to practice these methods under the guidance of the instructors. Students will be required to take field notes and hand in weekly journals. Grades will be assigned on the basis of class participation, satisfactory completion of reading assignments, journal writing, and a report at the end of the course.  

At the conclusion of their trip, students are expected to write a report comparing their findings in Chile and China.  This report will be the basis for a capstone seminar (to be submitted separately to the COI) in Fall 2013, in which students will further study
relevant theories and concepts in the existing literature and develop their own research 2 project based on their experiences during the summer. Students will be expected to write a research paper or senior thesis as the ultimate product to meet the capstone seminar objectives.

The Beijing segment will be taught by Xiaobo Lü, Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. Professor Lü teaches courses on Chinese politics, political economy, and comparative politics. His research interests include post-socialist transition,
corruption and good governance, regulatory reforms, and government-business relations.

The Beijing segment will also be taught by Xiaodan Zhang, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Professor Zhang is an Associate Professor of Sociology at York College, CUNY. Her research focuses on changing labor relations under economic reform in China, the sociology of work and organization, and gender studies. A graduate student will assist Prof. Zhang with logistical, administrative, and linguistic tasks.

The Santiago segment will be taught by Pablo Pinto,  Associate Professor  in the Department of Political Science and a member of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is also a research fellow of the
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and serves on the advisory committee of Columbia's MA in Regional Studies of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia and the Columbia Global Center in Santiago. Professor Pinto’s areas of expertise are international and comparative political economy, with regional focus in Latin America and East Asia.  He will be assisted in administrative, logistical, and linguistic tasks by a graduate student.

For more information and full syllabus, click here.