Year 2017 Term Spring Day Friday Period 3 Credit 2 Code 312
Course Title Development Politics I
Program Program in Governance and Law
Instructor(s) Kusaka
Purpose & Description

Development is fundamentally related with struggle over and distribution of scarce resources and values which are very critical for us to survive and realize “good lives.” Politics inevitably arises when people more than two need important resources and values. To avoid the possible risks of bloody conflicts, human beings have tried to set up social orders. What kinds of norms or standards, however, should we rely on to make social orders? What is justice and fairness? How individual freedom and equalities can be balanced? To what degree, should coercion be tolerated for those who do not agree? How can diverse people reach agreements? We do not have presumed theories which everybody would consent to at any levels of our social lives, which makes politics ubiquities and important. In this course, we will study various political thoughts, practices and institutions which people have invented and developed to improve inequalities, tame conflicts and create better societies.


1. Politics and Development: The lecturer explains the outline of the Development Politics I.

Part I: State, Liberty and Redistribution

The Part I discusses on various arguments on equalities and the roles of states to adjust inequalities.

2. On Politics

The lecturer will introduce and discuss essences of “politics” and some related important concepts so that students can share basic understanding.

3. Utilitarianism and Capitalist Development

We will study the thought of utilitarianism and its historical roles. How utilitarianism upheld civic politics against the monarchy? How did utilitarianists try to face the challenge from the labors? What is the limitation of the utilitarianism?

4. Liberalism and Welfare State (5/7)

- We will study various thoughts of Liberalism and its historical roles. Why liberalism gave legitimacy to those who were against traditional authorities and states to uphold individual rights? How liberalism has developed to adapt itself to different contests? How does liberalism support welfare states to reconcile the conflict between democracy and capitalist development?

5. Libertarianism

- We will study various Libertarianism and its challenge against welfare state justified by liberalism. Who would benefit from politics of Libertarianism? Can we say that has Libertarianism been getting dominant in the context of post-welfare states? What is the relationship between Libertarianism and Neo-liberalism?

6. Justice and Capability

- We will study how equality can be conceptualized, measured and achieved, and how various political theories can be examined in the context of development studies and practices. We also learn the famous capability approach on equality.

Part II: Politics of Differences and Recognition

- The Part II deals with various social-cultural differences and inequalities associated with religion, ethnicity and gender to explore how more equal society could be realized.

7. Communitarianism

- We will study communitarianism which aims to protect boundaries, identities of minorities and “common goods”, which politics of liberalism had overlooked. How the principle of equality and priority to minorities can be contentious and reconciled? How political units which share institutional framework of justice can be set up and justified?

8. Multiculturalism

- We will study multiculturalism that has developed after the liberal-communitarian controversies. What is the difference between communitarianism and multiculturalism? How individual rights and minority groups’ rights can be reconciled?

9. Feminism

- We will study feminism and its contribution to the political theories. Why gender inequalities has been ignored by liberalism which uphold equality of individuals? What are differences among feminism? How does feminism bring “the private” into political arena?

10. Redistribution and Recognition

- We will study relations between redistribution and recognition. How more equal society can be pursued in the two different but intertwined political aspects?

Part III: Radical Democracy in Divided Societies

- The Part III investigates how opposing people or social groups who uphold different interests and moralities can coexist in seriously divided societies.

11. Citizenship Theory

- We will study citizen theories that attempt to combine the liberal principle of individual rights and contribution to communities. What is the importance and difficulties to demand civic virtue from citizens? What kinds of political units are desirable for citizenship?

12. Deliberative Democracy

- We will study the “deliberative turn” in political theories. Why has deliberation been regarded as important? Can deliberation reconcile various antagonism in divided societies? Does everyone can participate in deliberation? How are deliberation channels opened for the marginalized?

13. Agonistic Democracy

- We will study agonistic democracy that attempts to tame irreconcilable antagonism. What is the difference of antagonism and agonism? How agonistic democracy can be realized?

14. Group Presentation

- Question: Discuss causes and characteristics of inequalities and antagonism in specific societies with referring to political theories we studied in the course. (Comparative approach is advisable. Suggest possible measures to improve discussed problems if possible.)

15. Submission of Term Paper (8/3)

- Question: Same as the group presentation but deepen it by yourself.


Texts & References

Textbook and Other Books of Reference: I will distribute a reading list of related studies on each topic.



A (100-90), B (89-80), C (79-70), D (69-60), F (59-0)

a) Attendance and Discussion (24 points: 2p * 12 sessions)

- Students are not only required to attend sessions but also actively discuss. Silent attendance will not be scored. Absence with reasons will be scored 1point.

b) Presentation of reading materials (15 points)

- At least one student will be required to have presentation on each reading material in a session. The presentation must not exceed more than 20 minutes. Presenters are expected to share critical remarks on texts after briefly summarizing essences of texts. I evaluate sincere intellectual engagement with texts. Mere summarization will not get high scores.

c) Group Presentation (20 points)

- Group presentation that successfully demonstrate their arguments will enjoy high scores. All members of each group get same score.

d) Term Paper (41 points)

- Papers which include critical review of related materials, logical arguments with appropriate data, and original findings will get high score. Simple summarization of texts or undemonstrated personal statements must be avoided.

Language(s) for instruction & discussion; Others