1. Describe the political and economic evolution of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. In doing so, discuss the historical context in which these institutions were founded; the Bretton Woods meetings at which they were established;and their original functions, voting and decision-making structures, mode of operations, and policy shifts over time, often in response to political controversies and economic failures.Why does Richard Peet say that these institutions are part of an “unholy trinity” of global institutions, which promote a neoliberal doctrine on behalf of a “Washington-Wall Street Alliance”? Is he right or wrong?
2. Discuss the role of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in the globalization process. In doing so, define and date the contemporary globalization process; review the history of TNCs and some basic data on TNCs in today’s world economy; and compare and contrast the theoretical debates on TNCs. Which perspective do you think is most accurate for understanding TNC investment strategies and their impact on developing economies?
3. Compare and contrast the three major theories of development economics (liberal, institutionalist, and Marxist). What are the core concepts and propositions of each theory in terms of their basic understanding of capitalism, and how do they understand the issue of development differently? Which perspective is best for understanding the logic of economic development in poor countries during the neoliberal period?
4. Discuss the trends in global inequality during the neoliberal period. In doing so, review the data trends on inequality and uneven development during the neoliberal period (as described in the 2010 UN Development Report); discuss the three different ways of measuring inequality globally and the most recent evidence based upon them; examine the theoretical debates in development economics on the nature of inequality; and review the basic trends of the ‘post-neoliberal’ moment of development in the South after 2010. Does a new type of ‘state capitalist’ development offer a promising approach for poor countries?
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