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Regional Analysis - South Asia
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Schulich School of Business
IMBA Program
INTL 5336
Regional Analysis: Economic Globalization, Democratization and Human Development in South Asia
Winter 2009

Course Director: Dr. Fahim Quadir Class Room: W 254

Office: 323 Founders College Mondays: 11:30pm-2:30pm

Tel: 66937 E-mail:

Office Hours: Tuesdays: 9:30 to 11-30 and by appointment

Downlaod Outline Here (PDF)

Class-members are advised that incomplete standing will be granted only with the permission of the course director and only where there is a clear demonstration of need. The simple fact of non-submission of work does not constitute an application and will result in a grade of zero for that assignment. 

This graduate course examines the political economy of contemporary democratic development and human security in South Asia. It analyzes a wide range of themes and issues integral to the understanding of the rapidly changing politico-economic structures of the region. In particular, this course explores how the end of the Cold War, the rise of a vibrant market via structural economic reform programs and the increasing integration of the region’s economy into the structure of global production and finance have created a new dynamism for socio-economic change in South Asia. The course aims to provide a new analytical perspective on economic globalization and human development. It also makes an attempt to show how civil society groups began to organize themselves into powerful coalitions in order to generate new social movements that are designed to transcend historical divides which have traditionally kept the region fragmented along the lines of religion, caste, class, ethnicity, nationalism and gender. 

As key countries in the region, the course draws upon the changing socio-economic dynamics of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. While the focus is on these three specific countries, the scope is broader than these three cases, covering much of the region and taking the notion of political economy beyond the formal structures of the state. Students whose primary interest is in other South Asian countries, are, therefore, encouraged to write comparative essays by taking into account the analytical framework developed during the course.

Structure of the Course

This course will be organized around a 3-hour weekly seminar. Every Monday morning the class will meet to discuss the topic at hand introduced by both class-members and the course director. The main purpose of these class meetings is to provide a context for gaining a critical understanding of South Asia’s changing socio-economic landscape in general, and their impact on economic development, in particular. Our in-class discussions will also offer a comprehensive and systematic overview of the emergence of new dominating economic reform patterns and how structural economic changes are affecting the prospect for democracy and human development in South Asia. 

Course Requirements

Final evaluation will be based on the knowledge of materials covered in this course as well as the assignments listed below:

In-class seminar 30%

Depending upon the size of the class, each week, one or two class-members will initiate a discussion of the topic of the day through presentation of a seminar paper, written and circulated in advance. In other words, each class-member will be required to make at least one oral presentation to the class based on the weekly topics. The presenter(s) should lead the discussion by providing a thorough and cogent analysis of the chosen weekly topic. The seminar presentation is meant to serve as the basis for understanding the changing political economies of South Asia .The presenter(s) must avoid introducing the summary of the topic at hand. Instead, he/she is expected to raise critical questions and issues about the chosen topic. In particular, the presenter(s) will make an effort to weave together empirical evidence drawn from specific (country) cases and current debates/analyses to help us comprehend the complex challenges of human development in the region in the 21st century. 

The presenter(s) will be encouraged to use overheads, videos, and other audio-visual aids in order to make the presentation both stimulating and interesting. He/she will also be required to submit a 5-page written summary (double-spaced) of the presentation topic in advance which will be distributed, preferably via the Moodle page, among all the class-members to stimulate debates and fruitful follow-up questions on the topic of the presentation. 

A presentation/seminar schedule will be finalized at the first class-meeting.

Journal Entries 15%

Each class-member will write one critical reviews (5 to 6 pages, double-spaced) of a book/book chapter/article listed in the course outline. The requirements are that, in addition to synthesizing the major points of the chosen piece, the review should provide a critical assessment of the analysis presented in that book/article/mimeo. Although short in length, this assignment will require you to carry out a thorough research on the topic to produce your review in a way that it offers an impressive analysis of both the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s views/arguments. The journal entry will be due on or before February 9, 2009. Late entries will be marked down 5% per day.

Research Essay

Research essay 25%
Each class-member will write a research paper drawing upon both class readings and extensive research on a relevant topic. The paper is meant to be a critical analysis of a topic to be agreed with the course director. In order to provide a solid analytical understanding of the chosen topic, class-members are encouraged to explore a case study, focusing on a specific topic within a country in the region. Grades will be based on the quality of research, analysis, understanding of the dynamics of socio-economic change in South Asia, and the organization of the research. This research paper should be no more than 12 pages in length, including the bibliography (double-spaced; the font size must be 12 points.). The deadline for the submission of the essay is March 16, 2009 . Late essays will be marked down 5% per day.

Participation and attendance 30%

The success of a graduate course of this nature would depend on the extent to which the class-members are using the source materials to provide a new lens for understanding and analyzing the prospect for socio-economic development in South Asia. Thus, the class will require that everyone is making a serious effort to come to the class-meetings fully prepared. In other words, the class-members will be required to participate in and contribute to both class discussions and presentations. Participation grades will be based on your actual contributions to class discussions and attendance records. More than three absences in the entire term will result in a failure in the participation mark.

Please note that all of the assignments will be graded on the following criteria: quality of research, nature of scholarship, strength of written analysis, presentation/writing style.

Evaluation Weights

• In-class seminars 30%
• Journal entry 15%
• Research Essay  25%
• Participation and attendance  30%

Please note that non-submission of work without an approved extension from the instructor will be accredited with the mark of "0". In order to receive a final grade, the class-member will have to receive a grade in each of the distributions noted above.


The class will use a course kit comprised of selected articles, book chapters, and written assessments published by seasoned analysts and established, well-known scholars writing on South Asia. The course kit will be available for purchase at the Bookstore.

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