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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article traces the trajectory of scholarship in the field of political development, beginning with the rise of what became known as “modernization theory” in the 1960s, which saw political development gain recognition as a subfield of political science. The article cites the works of prominent scholars within the modernization school and associates the birth of the subfield with historical developments spanning World War II and the war in Vietnam. It also discusses the transition from modernization theory to neoclassical political economy, made possible by the emergence of the newly industrialized countries and the fall of the Soviet Union. Finally, it considers the rise of democracy following the demise of communism, along with the study of political geography and the study of the historical determinants of contemporary politics.

Keywords: political development, modernization theory, political science, political economy, newly industrialized countries, Soviet Union, political geography, politics, communism, democracy

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