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Write a short essay (roughly 5-7 pages, double spaced) in response to one the following questions. In crafting your response, make sure you establish a clear thesis, defend your argument with evidence, and appropriately address counterarguments.
1. Writing on the process of state-building in early modern Europe, Charles Tilly famously argued that War made the state, and the state made war. Yet some scholars argue war and other forms of violent conflict can destroy fledgling states or otherwise undermine successful state-building. In your view, how useful is war for newly developing states? Should we promote war-making as a successful strategy for state-building today? In your response, be sure to reference specific readings/examples and to consider possible counterarguments.
2. You have been hired by the president of South Sudan, a largely rural, landlocked, and authoritarian country as an economic advisor. Although the country has a wealth of oil resources, its economic growth since independence in 2011 has been extremely disappointing and the country has faced continuous threats of internal violence and civil war. Based on what you have learned from course readings/examples, what kind of economic policy advice would you give if you wanted to push the country in a more developed direction? Note that while you have complete control over the countrys choice of economic policy, you have little influence over its politics (i.e. you cannot change South Sudan from an autocracy to a democracy, although you may recommend limited reforms). In crafting your response, your answer should make reference to relevant course readings, and where possible, identify potential counterarguments. Note that you do not need specific knowledge about South Sudan beyond what is given in the prompt to craft your response.
3. The theories we have read take very different positions on the impact of international forces on economic development. While some believe that influences from foreign actors can help speed the process of development (i.e. relative backwardness theory, liberal development models) others believe that international factors, such as trade with foreign countries, has a much more pernicious effect (i.e. dependency theory). In your view, how essential are international factors in explaining why some countries develop? What kinds of international conditions are more likely to encourage or undermine economic development? Alternatively, if international factors do not matter much, what other factors (culture, geography, institutions) might better explain development outcomes.