Take Home Exam Preparations

Final exam preparations

In fall 2014, we will use the final exam format to accommodate distance and internship constraints.


The exam submission is due within 24 hours of assignment, to be submitted on Turnitin during exam routine. (24 hours instead of the original 8 hours accommodates the 14 hour time difference between Kingston and Canberra).


The format for the final exam will be:

Part A: 5/9 short answers worth 10 points each (marked on content only)

Part B: 2/3 essay questions worth 25 points each (marked on ideas, expression, support)

Part A – DRAFT Short Answer

Define and explain the significance of 5 out of 9 terms (selected from the following list) for 10 points each. A good answer might consist of three short paragraphs, which define the term providing a reference from the course, apply the term correctly to a context, and explain why the term or concept is useful for understanding comparative development.

  1. Academic disciplines
  2. Anti-systemic movements
  3. Bonding capital
  4. Bridging capital
  5. Capital accumulation
  6. Chinese Model
  7. Civil society
  8. Class conflict
  9. Constitutional order
  10. Core-periphery division of labour
  11. Corporation
  12. Culture
  13. Dead Aid
  14. Development
  15. Double movement
  16. Gilded Age
  17. Gold standard
  18. Great divergence
  19. Great transformation
  20. Inclusive institutions
  21. Industrial revolution
  22. Institution
  23. Kuznets’ hypothesis
  24. Latent conflict
  25. Macrosocial inquiry
  26. Malthusian trap
  27. Market liberalism
  28. Market state
  29. Markets
  30. Moral economy
  31. Nation state
  32. Official Development Assistance
  33. Predatory and productive capitalism
  34. Reciprocity
  35. Revolution
  36. Rule of law
  37. Social capital
  38. Social cohesion
  39. Social stratification
  40. Speenhamland
  41. State making as organized crime
  42. Strains of 19th Century Capitalism
  43. Structural adjustment
  44. Structure and agency
  45. Systems
  46. Traditional society
  47. Underdevelopment
  48. Violent transformation of social capital
  49. Washington Consensus
  50. Wealth
  51. Wicked problems
  52. World Bank

Part B – DRAFT Essay Questions

For two of the three following questions, provide a brief, well-reasoned and eloquent answer in essay form, drawing on concepts from the principle texts for the course and other secondary sources that may be appropriate. You may illustrate your answer with an original oil painting, sonnet, sculpture, or symphonic composition. If you choose to present the answer as interpretive dance, it must be a solo performance. (Don’t be intimidated by the draft questions below – you’ll get through this!)

53. “Development economics is about the big issues: how economies and societies grow and change.” (Nicholas Stern, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics, World Bank, in Meier and Stiglitz, 2000, p. vii). Amongst the arguments presented in this course, which do you find most and least compelling about the drilvers for growth and change in economies and societies?

54. Confidence in the ability of governments to take action and direct change in socieites and economies has waxed and waned over time.  Treating politics, economics, and society as a system of systems, how much confidence is warranted in the relative abilities of today’s states and markets to meet human needs?

55. Three major pairs of ideas permeated the course: the power of markets, but also their potential destructiveness; the necessity for government action to create markets, but also the constraining influence of governments; and the social basis for economic activity, but also the social costs of disruptive change.  How are these three pairs of ideas related to each other? [Consider an introduction/conclusion plus a six paragraph outline for this question, in which each paragraph illustrates how one of the three affects or is affected by each of the others.]

56. One of the characteristics of macro-social enquiry is that the same historical events are repeatedly reinterpreted to offer new explanations of cause and effect.  Analyze how the industrial revolution in the United Kingdom is interpreted by at least two major enquiries to provide different explanations of development.

57. Bobbitt’s contention that states and the state system have evolved is based on descriptions of epochal wars, which created new constitutional orders within the international system. Bobbitt gives scant attention to the evolution of markets. Drawing on other sources, match the evolution of markets to the evolution of the state, and suggest possible hypotheses about causal relationships in each direction (i.e. how the evolution of the state has influenced markets, and how markets have influenced the evolution of the state). [Tilly’s work on the state-making as organized crime, Acemoglu and Robinson on why nations fail, and Polanyi’s economic history are all good starting points.]

58. Revolution and revolutionary change are associated with violence, but the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Russian Revolution produced different kinds of violence.  What kinds of violence typified each revolution, and why? Compare the explanations suggested by Tilly, Davis, and Pinker.

59. Putnam’s exploration of declining civic engagement in the US is limited to a narrow time period, but he concludes with a comparison to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in the US at the end of the turn of the 19th century. How generalizable are his conclusions for other times and places, particularly violent or dislocated societies? [Consider Woolcock, Colletta and Cullen, and Moyo.]

60. What defines China’s model of development as described by Dambisa Moyo, and why does it appeal to many states? What does it mean for established “market states” of the various types described by Bobbitt, and what does this suggest for conflict within and between states?

61. Does the rise of corporations spell the decline of states?  What concepts and models are most useful for understanding the interaction of states and corporations as major actors within a global political, economic, and social system?

62. What have your learned?