This class provides an introduction to contemporary research on the political economy of development. The major questions to be addressed by the course are: How central is politics to economic development? How do political institutions determine policy choices? How do economic structures in turn impact on politics? Why do governments employ policies that hinder development? Why do seemingly inefficient institutions survive? What accounts for political accountability? How important are international effects relative to domestic features? One of the aims of the discussion in the class will be to test abstract theories of development using in-depth knowledge of cases, and to further our understanding of cases by applying lessons from theoretical and statistical work.