Spring 2011 — MW 15:25-16:40
This course is an introduction to the study of colonial legacies, with a focus on South Asia and Africa. Although research on colonialism spans the entire spectrum of the social sciences, our emphasis will be on the impact of colonial policies on political and economic development. Some of the central questions we will explore are: How have colonial ethnic censuses affected political stability in post-colonial societies? Are countries in which ex-colonizers have settled in large numbers more likely to be richer today than countries with insignificant settler populations? Do ex-British colonies have systematically different long-term economic and political trajectories than ex-French colonies? The course will also examine the merits and demerits of proposals that have been suggested to permanently alter these legacies in developing countries such as creating stronger states by redrawing arbitrary borders or the creation of ethnically representative armies.