2015: Marcus Kurtz
Rural Development as National Development:
Market-Building, Demography, and the Social Foundations of Growth
Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Albert M. Bender Room, Bing Wing
Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University
National prosperity is not typically seen as a product of profound agricultural transformation. At the same time, the few sustained post-war economic “miracles” (as in Korea, Taiwan, Japan, for example) have all been in contexts that experienced tremendous transformation of agricultural property rights and political relationships. Kurtz emphasizes the critical importance of agricultural transformation for national development. In the countryside, unlike cities, development-oriented reform typically involves fundamental reforms such as wholesale restructuring of property rights, the creation of basic markets (in land, labor, and commodities), and the disruption of clientelistic and machine politics. Globally the countryside is becoming smaller and less economically central, but the way in which this comes about can make the difference between prosperity and long-term stagnation.
Dr. Marcus Kurtz is Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University, and a faculty affiliate of the Mershon Center for International Security. A life-long student of urban-rural political and economic relationships, Kurtz is author of Free Market Democracy and the Chilean and Mexican Countryside (2004) and Latin American State Building in Comparative Perspective (2013). He has also written dozens of articles on financial market regulation, trade, agrarian reform, economic development, and state building.