EUROSCI Network course: The EU and emerging markets

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Economic development and North-South relations

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Aims and scope: 

Understanding economic development is essential for grasping the opportunities of growth and emerging markets in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, or Asia. Whether you aim at working for an investment fund in the City of London, as an engineer in the North of Africa, as a volunteer at a major development NGO, or you aim at creating your own agribusiness or tourism startup in Latin America or Ukraine, this course will provide you with the empirical information and analytical tools you need for understanding the economies of the countries in which you will operate.

This course will introduce you to the field of economic development, traditionally one of the most lively and challenging areas in economics. Over the last decades, advances in economic theory and econometric methods have allowed development economists to review some age-old questions. Why do some countries grow faster than others? What is the link between inequality, poverty, and economic development? How can we explain rural-urban migrations in the light of urban poverty? Do poor people make the wrong decisions about consumption, work or investment? Why is credit more expensive in developing economies? Are free trade and foreign investment good for development? Does development aid work? This course will introduce you to these advances and give you a feel of the current debates, acquainting you with new ideas and new ways of answering fundamental questions about the economics of poor societies and the process of economic development.

This course will also introduce you to the EU, what it is, how it works, and what it does in the different fields of economic, social and foreign policy, with particular attention to how EU policies affect relations with the developing world. This will be of interest for students from the EU and developing countries alike, as it will allow them to better understand how different EU policies constrain or create opportunities for economic transactions with emerging markets in a variety of fields, from agriculture and industry to migration or tourism.

This course is aimed at students of business, engineering, international relations, or any other students that need to operate in the context of developing economies. No prior knowledge of economics is required, but you will need a working knowledge of English and access to a broadband internet connection for taking this course.


This course will be based on synchronous web conferences and asynchronous online written discussions. At the start of the course, students will be paired in North-South teams for coursework that will account for 25% of the final grade.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is an approach for learning content through an additional language (foreign or second), thus learning both the subject and the language simultaneously. This approach to teaching and learning has never featured as strongly on university curricula as it does now. Besides, the great revolution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has had a tremendous impact on education and on the development of foreign language communication skills in particular. ICT is an ideal platform for developing interactive strategies and methodologies that promote independent learning, peer interaction, and language use for real communicative purposes. In a world where students are digital natives and where broadband connections and mobile-data enabled smartphones are widespread, there is great potential for combining CLIL with ICT. If we add to this the opportunities that international university partnerships and networks offer for student interaction across borders, we have all the necessary ingredients for a successful course.


UNDERSTANDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: 1. Introduction to economic development. Concept and measurement. Why study economic development? Which indicator of economic development, GDP per capita or HDI? 2. Economic growth. The Harrod-Domar and the Neoclassical growth models. Which model explains growth better in developing countries? Are poor countries catching up? 3. Economic inequality, poverty and development. Is there a poverty trap? Does inequality help or hinder development? 4. Population and development. The dual economy. Migration. Should the government promote rural-urban migration to encourage development? Why is there urban unemployment? 5. Emerging markets: land, labour, capital, and insurance. Why is credit more expensive for the poor? Why are poor people so risk averse? 6. Development and democracy. Autocracy. Corruption. Are autocracy and corruption a cause or a consequence of underdevelopment? UNDERSTANDING THE EU: 7. The European Union, what it is and how it works. History. Institutional framework. Who rules the EU, national leaders or Brussels officials? 8. The single market, the euro, and other market policies. Are EU regulations a trade barrier for developing countries? 9. The EU budget, agricultural, regional and other social policies. Does the Common Agricultural policy hurt developing countries? EU RELATIONS WITH THE GLOBAL SOUTH: 10. Trade in goods and services. The common commercial policy. The WTO. Trade deals. Trade defence. Why does the EU impose anti-dumping duties on India or China? Why is an EU-Mercosur trade deal so difficult to achieve? 11. Foreign direct investment. EU investment policy objectives. Participation in international fora. Investment deals. Investment facilitation and dispute resolution. Screening third-party investments. Why does the EU protect itself from Chinese investments? 12. Migrations. Schengen. The 2015 migration crisis. EU asylum policy. Migration control. Co-operation with neighbouring countries. Frontex. Why does the EU co-operate with Morocco, Libya or Turkey? Will increased refugee quotas reduce the number of deaths on the Mediterranean? 13. Development policy. The Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). Development aid. Why does EU development policy not focus on the world's poorest? 14. Security. Common Security and Defence Policy. Sahel. Central African Republic. Somalia. Libya. Bosnia. Ukraine and Moldova. Georgia. Palestinian Territories.

Indicative reading: 

In English: Ray, D. (1998). Development economics. Princeton University Press; Basu, K. (2003). Analytical development economics: the less developed economy revisited. MIT Press. In French: Raffinot, M. (2021). Economie du développement, 3e ed. Dunod.

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