Monday, October 12, 2009

[DeCal] Divergence in Institutions (South Korea)

Divergence in Institutions (South Korea)
Next week's readings are posted here:

In particular, we will be examining why and how the southern half of the Korean peninsula came to be a fairly wealthy, middle income country with democratic institutions." While we had initially planned for me to give this presentation solo (I saved this topic so that I could do the research), additional students that were either absent or unable to join the groups early on will be added to this group as well.

Straight from the syllabus:
Why is it that the southern half of the Korean peninsula came to be a fairly wealthy, middle income country with democratic institutions? How did this process happen? After all, Korea was for thousands of years a centralized bureaucratic monarchy (and then ruled by centralized bureaucratic colonial government) with no history of democracy? The presentation will heavily emphasize the development of economic institutions first that began in the early seventies. Policies conducive to sustained economic growth over the long run that took advantage of favorable endowments unique to South Korea (access to the U.S. market, U.S. oil regime) led to prosperity in the South. Democratic institutions also took hold, but took much longer with South Korea holding her first free and fair elections in 1987) (Syllabus).
An updated syllabus that shows the agenda in particular for the next three weeks is also available here.

Required Reading:

Supplemental Reading:

Dani Rodrik, Gene Grossman and Victor Norman
Economic Policy, Vol. 10, No. 20 (Apr., 1995), pp. 55-107

Chapter 4 (only the part under Political Dynamics)

Attendance Policy:
After consultation among the facilitators, we feel it would be prudent to excuse the first two weeks of absences, considering the large number of students that did enroll after class first began two weeks before the add/drop deadline passed.

Grading Policy:
Presentations will be given a score on a sliding scale from one to four. All students will receive the same group for each presentation. The reason we decided to go with this system is that there are a lot of other DeCals, especially for 2-units, where the facilitators just lecture for an hour or so and expect the students in class to come up with a 7 or 8 page term paper or a midterm or a final. Well, the purpose of a paper is no different than that of a presentation except that the findings on the part of those presenting can be shared with the entire class, whereas a paper is not as easily shareable. Similarly, a mid-term or final examination is more of a test to see if students have learned anything. It is along these lines in how we view group presentations - an opportunity for each and every student in the class to be able to research and contribute to the discussion of the entire class.

While, groups one and two only have had an opportunity to prepare one week in advance, the same is not true of that of other groups. So, from this point on, we will be expecting all material to be cited from all students giving presentations (Primary citations found on Wikipedia are ok, but presentations that sound like they are reading from the Wikipedia are not). Once again, the goal of presentations is to further a point and not to recite history for history's sake (or to take somebody else's interpretation for granted). Furthermore, presentations are expected to last from fourty-five minutes to one-hour.

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