PSCI 5320: Administration in Developing Countries

Spring 2007, Western Michigan University

Instructor: Mahendra Lawoti, Office: Friedmann 3408

Class: 6:30-9:00 PM, 2209 Dunbar, Mondays

Office hours: 2:15-3:15 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 5:15-6:15 PM Mondays

Telephone: 387-5702; Email:




This course will look at the administration of development in low and middle-income countries, both at the grassroots and central level.  We will review literature on governance, public administration, development, and gender relations and ethnic dimensions of development administration.  The course will discuss both rural and urban issues, even though the focus on the rural issues will be more since the majority of people in developing countries live in the rural regions.  With regard to urban areas, it will discuss the informal sector, urban poverty and the environment.  Finally, the course will review different strategies that have worked in international development, such as micro credit, decentralization, center-local partnership, among others.  We will rely on case studies, cross-national empirical studies, and different development administration theories to understand the issues and challenges of development administration in developing countries. 



Required Texts

Tendler, Judith. 1997. Good Government in the Tropics.  Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press

Soto, Hernando de. 2002.  The Other Path: The Economic Answer to Terrorism, Perseus Books.

A PSCI 5320 course pack

Some articles, chapters, and books are available online or as reserves at Waldo Library.


Requirements and Grading

Each week’s readings should be done carefully, and students should come to class prepared to discuss the readings.  All students are expected to debate points in the literature, ask thoughtful and informed questions, and/or provide appropriate examples and counter examples of the issues discussed based on their own experience and understanding of development administration in different countries.  Students must take part in discussions to do well on this part of the grade. 

Beginning from the second week, twice during the semester, each student will prepare 5 questions on the readings and send them via email to the whole class on the day before the lecture.  The questions should go beyond summarizing the readings.  They should take our discussions to the next level in the class. The emphasis should be on raising questions, identifying points that need clarification, presenting alternative points of view, and drawing out the implications of the articles for practice. We will discuss the questions in the second part of the class. The sign up sheet for the questions will be circulated in the second week.  The question assignment should be dispersed between the two half of the term.

            There will be two exams, each carrying 25 percent of the grade.  The final requirement is a term paper of 15-20 pages long.  The term paper is due on April 17 by 5PM.  All papers must be typed, double-spaced, using standard margins (no less than one inch), in approximately 11 or 12 point font.  You must footnote/endnote/refer sources you use.  All papers must contain a bibliography.  Students are free to use any of the several standard formats for reference, footnotes, or endnotes, so long as they are consistent within the paper.  Include all the information a reader would need to locate the source of your information (i.e. the title, author, and date of the source; page numbers where you found the information; publisher’s name and location if it is a book; and issue number if it is a magazine). Your paper will be graded on the directness and clarity of writing style, quality of your research, reasoning, and argumentation.  Students are strongly encouraged to see me during my office hours or other agreed upon time to discuss the term paper. Term papers will be presented in the class on April 9 and 16.  You can write the paper on any issue we have covered in the class.  An outline of the term paper is due on March 12.  Each student will present his or her outline in the class. In the outline, you should mention the issue you are going to deal in the term paper, a research question, and an outline of how you are going to write the paper. I expect you to have done some preliminary research while preparing the outline.  Some references should be cited in the outline, indicating that you have done some research and identified others. 


Two exams:                  25 percent each (total 50 percent)

Term paper:                  35 percent (30 +5: paper and presentation)

Class participation:        15 percent (attendance, class discussion & questions)


A Note on Academic Integrity

Western Michigan University’s Catalog defines plagiarism as “intentionally, knowingly or carelessly representing the words or ideas of another person as one’s own.”  The catalog discusses numerous issues of academic honesty in considerable detail. You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate (p. 274-276) and Graduate (p. 25-27) Catalog that pertain to Academic Honesty. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.  Each student is responsible ensuring that they have referred the proper authors or sources in their work.  Ignorance of the rules in the Catalog will not be accepted as an excuse.  The minimum penalty for plagiarism or cheating is a failing grade in the class.



Week 1, January 8: Introduction

UNDP. 2001. “Human Development- Past, Present, and Future,” Human Development Report 2001, New York: UNDP, available online at


Week 2, January 15: NO CLASS, MLK DAY


Week 3, January 22: Governance and Development

Dervis, Kemal. 2006. “Governance and Development,” Journal of Democracy, 17(4): 153-159, available ONLINE

Hyden, Goran, Julius Court, and Kenneth Mease. 2004. “Governance, Democracy, and Development,” and “Governance Performance: The Aggregate Picture,” chapters 1 and 2 in Making Sense of Governance: Evidence from 16 Developing Countries, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 7-56

Lindblom, Charles E. 1959. “The Science of “Muddling Through,”’ Public Administration Review, 19(2): 79-88, available ONLINE

Stone, Deborah. 2002, revised edition. “Equity,” chapter 2 in Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, W. W. Norton and Company


Week 4, January 29: Administration in Developing Societies

Riggs, Fred. 1964.  “The Prismatic Model: Conceptualizing Transitional Societies,” chapter 1 in Administration in Developing Countries: The Theory of Prismatic Society, 3-49

Gusfield, Joseph R. 1967.  Tradition and Modernity: Misplaced Polarities in the Study of Social Change, The American Journal of Sociology, 72(4)-351-362, available ONLINE via

Hyden, Goran, Julius Court, and Kenneth Mease. 2004. “The Bureaucracy,” chapter 6 in Making Sense of Governance: Evidence from 16 Developing Countries, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 121-141.


Week 5, February 5: Decentralization, Partnership and Micro-Credit

Agrawal, Arun and Elinor Ostrom.  2001. “Collective Action, Property Rights, and Decentralization in India and Nepal,” Politics and Society 29(4): 485-514, available ONLINE via Westcat

Rondinelli, Dennis A. 2003. “Partnering for Development: Government-Private Sector Cooperation in Service Provision,” chapter 12 in Reinventing Government for the Twenty-First Century: State Capacity in a Globalizing Society, Dennis Rondinelli, Kuamrian, 181-194, electronic book available ONLINE via Westcat

Yunus, Muhammad. 1997. “The Grameen Bank Story: Rural Credit in Bangladesh,” chapter 1 in Reasons for Hope: Instructive Experiences in Rural Development, edited by Anirudh Krishna, Norman Uphoff, and Milton Esman, New Delhi: Vistar Publications.


Week 6, February 12: Good Government in Practice

Tendler, Judith. 1997.  “Introduction,” “Preventive Health: The Case of the Unskilled Meritocracy,” and “Small Firms and Large Buyers: Demand Driven Public Procurement,” chapters 1, 2, and 5 in Good Government in the Tropics, 1-45, 102-134


Week 7, February 19: Central & Local Governments in Development

Tendler, Judith. 1997.  “The Emergency Employment Program and Its Unlikely Heroes,” “Frontline Workers and Agricultural Productivity” and “Civil Servants and Civil Society, Governments Central and Local,” chapters 3, 4, and 6 in Good Government in the Tropics, 46-101, 135-165


Week 8, February 26: MID TERM EXAM


Week 9, March 5: SPRING BREAK


Week 10, March 12: Gender Relations and Development

Mead, Cain, Syeda Rokeya Khanam, and Shamsun Nahar.  1979.  “Class, Patriarchy, and Women’s Work in Bangladesh,” Population and Development Review 5(3): 405-438, available ONLINE via

Morrison, Chritian and Johannes P. Jutting. 2005. “Women’s Discrimination in Developing Countries: A New Data Set for Better Policies,” World Development 33(7): 1065-1081, available ONLINE via Westcat

Cornwell, Andrea. 2003. Whose Voices? Whose Choices? Reflections on Gender and Participatory Development, World Development, 31(8), 1325-1342, available ONLINE via Westcat



Week 11, March 19: Administration in Plural Societies

Esman, Milton. 1997. “Public Administration, Ethnic Conflict, and Economic Development,” Public Administration Review, 57(6): 527-533, available ONLINE via

Bates, Robert H. 2000. “Ethnicity and Development in Africa: A Reappraisal,” The American Economic Review, 90(2): 131-134, available ONLINE via

Herring, Ronald J. 2003. “Making Ethnic Conflict: The Civil War in Sri Lanka,” chapter 6 in Carrots, Sticks, and Ethnic Conflict: Rethinking Development Assistance, eds. Milton J Esman and Ronald J Herring. The University of Michigan Press, 140-174

Esman, Milton J. 2001. “Policy Dimensions: What Can Development Assistance Do?, chapter 9 in Carrots, Sticks, and Ethnic Conflict: Rethinking Development Assistance, eds. Milton J Esman and Ronald J Herring. The University of Michigan Press, 235-256


Week 12, March 26: The Informal Sector

De Soto, Hernando. 2002 (1990). “Introduction,” “Informal Trade,” and “The Cost and Importance of the Law,” chapters 1, 3, and 5 in The Other Path, 3-16, 59-92, 131-188


Week 13, April 2: Urban Poverty and the Environment

Evans, Peter. 2002. “Introduction,” in Livable Cities? The Politics of Urban Livelihood and Sustainability, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1-30

Soto, Hernando de. 2002 (1990). “Informal Housing” and “Redistributive Tradition” chapters 2 and 6, in The Other Path, 17-57, 189-199


Week 14, April 9: Presentations


Week 15, April 16:  Presentations




Week 16: Final Exam, April 23, 2007, 7:15-9:15 PM