Description   |   Syllabus

Economic Chaos and its Bloody Repercussions: International Institutions and the Countries They Run
UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Spring 1999

Mark Danner 
 Description: We will seek to understand the major international story of the 1990's: the dislocation of the world economic system and its consequences for political stability. We will study the history of modern trade and its aging institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as the World Trade Organization. Through the "lenses" of these powerful institutions we will look at zones of economic upheaval-- Indonesia and East Asia; Mexico, Brazil and Argentina; Eastern and Central Europe; Russia-- and the political dislocation that may follow. (Students may choose their own "zone of chaos," country or region, to track.) We will draw our readings from the daily and monthly press; from essays in the history of political economy; and from contemporary literature, among them, V.S.Naipaul of Trinidad, Pramoedya Ananta Toer of Indonesia, Michael Manley of Jamaica, David Landes of the United States, Manlio Arguenta of El Salvador and the recent Nobel Prize winner, Amartya Sen of India.

*Goal:* By exploring the economic and political histories of a number of countries and regions, and their relations to others within an evolving world-system, we shall come to understand the roots of political conflict. 
*Main Class Requirements:* This is a seminar. I judge it most important that students: 
* Attend classes 
* Participate in discussions
* Do all reading Between January and May, we will make our way through a rich and varied assortment of essays, stories, novels and articles. That list, in its length and variety, will demand time. Reading and discussing what we have read comprises the heart of this course. 

*Writing:* Students will be assigned a number of very short papers - all of these to be written in class - and a final paper of 2500 to 4500 words. First drafts of the final paper will be accepted on Thursday, April 22, finished manuscripts on Tuesday, May 4. 

*Books and Articles:* Students will find books for the course at Collected Thoughts Bookshop, which is located at 1816 Euclid Avenue, about fifty yards from North Gate Hall (between Hearst and Ridge, west - left - side of the street; telephone: 843-1816). Other materials, including articles, chapters and, in some cases, entire books, I will distribute in photocopy. Master copies of all the photocopied material will be kept in the office. 

*Newspapers:* The countries we study, by definition, are subject to political violence; all appear in the print and broadcast news, some almost daily. Articles from The New York Times or Washington Post or Los Angeles Times will often lead off a discussion. Read the newspaper, especially the New York Times. 

*Films:* From time to time during the term I will screen films that I hope will complement our studies. I will show the films in the evening, probably on Thursday, probably once every two or three weeks, at a place and time to be announced. 

*Outline:* The general path of our inquiry will follow two axes, one historical, the other typological. In studying the histories of a number of countries, we will come to know the history of the world trading system - notably, the five-hundred-year story of how divisions and links emerged between the "first" and the "third" worlds. Meantime we will learn to analyze and classify the various types of economic relations that evolved, and the endemic and often brutal struggles over political power that accompanied them. As we pursue this project, our schedule will surely change. Some books and articles will likely be discarded and others will replace them. We are undertaking an exploratory march through a vast area and, depending on the obstacles we confront, we will inevitably feel the need to re-calibrate our compasses. 

*January 19: Introduction/Discussion* "Fear of Sorcerers Spur Killings in Java," New York Times 

*January 21: Discussion* Cohen, Daniel, The Wealth of the World and the Poverty of Nations De Las Casas, "The Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies" 

*January 26: Discussion* Mark Danner, "Haiti: Beyond the Mountains" (New Yorker Magazine series, three parts)* 

*January 28: Discussion* Mark Danner, "Haiti: Beyond the Mountains," continued. 

*February 1: Discussion* James, C.L.R. The Black Jacobins Lundahl Mats "The Haitian Dilemma Reexamined: Lessons from the Past in the Light of Some New Economic Theory" 

*February 4: Discussion* Courlander, Harold. The Bordeaux Narrative. Aristide speeches, "A Call to Holiness," "Walking in the Light of Christ," "We Have Come From Far Away," and "Let the Flood Descend" 

*February 9: Discussion of Haiti's social hierarchy and color politics* Courlander, Harold. The Bordeaux Narrative. Bentivegna, MD, Joseph. The Neglected and Abused: A Physician's Year in Haiti 

*February 11: Discussion of Voodoo's role in Haitian society plus continuing discussion of The Bordeaux Narrative and The Neglected and Abused* Fass, Simon. The Political Economy of Haiti. 

*February 16: Discussion of Breton Woods, and the IMF and World Bank's Role in Haiti* Dupuy, Alex. Haiti in the New World Order. Trouillot, Michel "Color, Culture and Politics," and "A Social Contract for Whom?" from Haiti: State Against Nation 

*February 18: Discussion of the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier* Aristide, "The Persistence of Poverty in the Age of Globalization" Rene Preval's Independence Day Speech 1/1/99 Danner, "Haiti on the Verge," "The Prophet," "The Fall of the Prophet," New York Review of Books Movie Night: G. Pontecorvo, "Burn! [Quemado!]" M. Deren, "Divine Horseman" 

*February 23: Discussion* The Geography of the World Economy, pp. 64-146 and 259-291 Cypher & Dietz, The Process of Economic Development,pp. 65-100 

*February 25: Discussion* Josh DeWind and David H. Kinley, Aiding Migration Aristide, "A Letter to My Brothers and Sisters" (from Aristide, in The Parish of the Poor) 

*March 2: Discussion* Eric Hobsbawm's The Age of Capital (Introduction - Chapter 3) Wuyts, Mackintosh and Hewitt's Development Policy and Public Action John Agnew's Geopolitics (Chapter 5) 

*March 4: Lecture with Peter Tarnoff: A Geopolitcal Tour d'Horizon* Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness Naipaul, V.S., "Conrad's Darkness" 

*March 9: Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness* - A. Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost 

*March 11: Guest Lecture: Adam Hochschild* Young & Turner, The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State (pgs. 3-77; 164-220; 246-325) Chaliand, G."Revolution in the Third World" Naipaul, V.S., "A New King for the Congo: Mobutu and the Nihilism of Africa" Lindqvist, Sven, Exterminate the Brutes Movie Night: R. Peck, "Lumumba" Also recommended (but not required): J.P. and L. Dardenne, "La Promesse" L. Gast, "When We Were Kings" 

*March 16: Analysis of the Church Committee's Report on the Congo; and the CIA's role in the assasination of Patrice Lumumba* Kapuscinki, R. The Soccer War Orwell, G. "Marrakech" Bowles, Paul, "A Distant Episode" 

*March 18: Comparing Orwell's "Marrakech" with Paul Bowles's "A Distant Episode"* V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River [Spring Recess] 

*March 30: Dicussion of current events in Kosovo.* 

*April 1: Guest Lecture- Gilles Peress* 

*April 6: Final discussion of the Congo* Urquhart, Brian, A Life in Peace and War Chapters XII ("The Congo"), XIII ("The Loss of Hammarskjold"), XIV ("Aftermath in Katanga") and XV ("U Thant") Human Rights Reports: "The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Uncertain Course," "Zaire: Transition, War and Human Rights," "The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Casualties of War," "Lumumba's House" (Chapter 3 of JFK: Ordeal in Africa) Movie Night: P. Guzman, "The Battle of Chile" (Parts I, II) Also reccommended (but not required): Costa Gavres, "State of Siege," and H. Babenco, "Pixote" 

*April 8: Discussion of Chile.* Boorstein, Edward, Allende's Chile. . .An Inside View Cleaver, Tony, Understanding the World Economy, Chapters 2 ("Eastern European economic transition"), 8 ("Exchange rates and currency union"), 10 ("Foreign debt, Western banks, and international policeman"), and 11 ("Development, growth and Asian dragons"). Jon Lee Anderson, "The Dictator," New Yorker profile, Oct. 19, 1998 

*April 13: Chile.* Martinez, Javier and Alvaro Diaz, Chile: The Great Transformation Frieden, Jeffry A., Debt, Development and Democracy: Modern Political Economy and Latin America 1965-1985, Chapter 5 ("Debt, Economic Policy and Politics in Chile"). Collins, Joseph and John Lear, Chile's Free-Market Miracle: A Second Look Nelson, Joan M., Economic Crisis and Policy Choice, Chapter 4 ("Politics and Economic Crisis: A Comparative Study of Chile, Peru and Colombia"). 

*April 15: Chile.* Kissinger, Henry, "Chile: The Fall of Salvador Allende" (from Years of Upheaval) Church Committee on Intelligence Activities, "Addenda to the Interim Report on Alleged Assasination Plots" Gadzey, Anthony, The Political Economy of Power, Chapters 3 ("US Power and Restrictive Trade Practices, 1789-1970") 4 ("The Marshall Plan and US Hegemony: a Public or a Private Good?"), 5 ("American Hegemony and the Bretton Woods System"), and 6 ("Evaluating US Hegemonic Experience") Cyper & Dietz, The Process of Economic Development, pp. 205-236 M. Messkoub, "Deprivation and Structural Adjustment," (Chapter 7 of Development Policy and Public Action by Wuyts, Macintosh and Hewitt) 

*April 20: Disussion of Pramoedya Anata Toer's "The Book That Killed Colonialism," New York Times Magazine, April 18, 1999.* Movie Night: the Chilean film, "Amnesia." Also reccommended (but not required): "Four Days in September" 

*April 22: Guest Lecturer- Michael Watts, Professor of Geography at U.C. Berkeley and Director of the Institute of International Studies.* 

*April 27 Final discussion of Chile's Free Market Economy* "Global Contagion," The New York Times 4-part series from February 15 - 18, 1999 C. Henderson, Asia Falling Lingle, Christopher, The Rise and Decline of the Asian Century *Final Paper: Draft Due 

*April 29: Discussion of Asia as an American Imperium.* Moreno, R., G. Pasadilla, and E. Remolona, "Asia's Financial Crisis: Lessons and Policy Responses" Krugman, Paul, "The Confidence Game," The New Republic, October 5, 1998 Krugman, Paul, "The Myth of Asia's Miracle," (Chapter 11 from Krugman's Pop Internationalism) 

*May 4: Guest Lecturer- Bruce Gilley* Krugman, Paul. The Return of Depression Economics Wedel, Janine, "Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe: 1989-1998" 

*May 6: Discussion of Chilean Film, "Amnesia"* Pramoedya Ananta Toer's This Earth of Mankind 

*May 11: Final day of classes* Final Movie Night: Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" 

*May 12: Final Paper Due*

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