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Blavatnik School of Government

From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development

Expanding social networks - MOOC: From poverty to prosperity: Understanding economic development
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From poverty to prosperity: Understanding economic development

Led by Sir Paul Collier, the School’s globally renowned Professor of Economics and Public Policy and author of the acclaimed book The Bottom Billion, our first ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will examine the vital role government plays in economic development, analysing the political, social and economic factors that elevate any society from poverty to prosperity.

It is aimed at anyone with an interest in economic development, from university students and people working in government and NGOs, through to education and business professionals around the world, active and engaged citizens who are passionate about the development of their countries. They will find the course, delivered by a world-leading expert on the topic, a useful tool to understand how political and social foundations interact with economic opportunities in developing countries.

The course will present the most recent theories on economic development through video lectures, and apply them to case studies of individual countries, as well as comparative analysis, readings, quizzes, assignments and discussion forums. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand the factors that influence development and the different development paths that countries across the world have taken.

Participants need no specific academic qualifications. The course started in February 2017 and will last for six weeks.

Course outline:

  • Module 1: From anarchy to a centralised state
  • Module 2: From centralised to inclusive states
  • Module 3: Power, identities & narratives
  • Module 4: Growth through urbanisation & industrialisation
  • Module 5: Natural resources and aid
  • Module 6: External influences: Trade, migration, international governance rules, and military intervention


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