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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: International Development (PGSP11314)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits15
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionDevelopment is primarily concerned with the economic transformation of countries considered to be less advanced than others. International development as we now know it emerged in the 1950s, drawing on economic development theories from the 18th century onwards. Over time, however, international development has taken on new dimensions, encompassing social and political, as well as economic, transformation. Development is a profoundly political process, shaped by and shaping social actors and political institutions at local, national, regional and global levels. This course explores the theories that shape international development, and the actors and institutions involved. Through engagement with development practitioners there will opportunities to put learning into context and understand how tools and approaches may be applied in real-life situations. The course offers an introduction, overview and critical analysis of the forces shaping international development.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 150 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 147 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. You will gain familiarity with the major cultural, economic and political theories of development and underdevelopment.
2. You will be able to analyse the theory and practice of development in an objective and critical manner.
3. You will develop an understanding of the diversity and complexity of interactions amongst political, economic and social actors involved in development.
4. You will learn to apply research and analytical skills and techniques appropriate to understanding and analysing development policy
Assessment Information
50% Group extended research proposal
20% weekly presentations
30% 1,500 words policy brief
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus WEEK 1: Introduction - the problem of development
The introduction provides an introduction to the history of 'international development' as we now know it. What is development and underdevelopment, and where did it emerge from? Who determines what development is and does?
Key texts:
- Esteva, G. (1992) 'Development' in Sachs, W. (ed.) The Development Dictionary. A Guide to Knowledge as Power.
- Rist, G. (1997, 2002) The History of Development: from Western Origins to Global Faith (chpts 1-4)
WEEK 2: Modernisation, Dependency and Neo-Liberalism
This week we explore three cornerstones of development theory. Modernisation theory was central to development discourse in the 1950s and 1960s. It includes both cultural and economic assumptions about progress and the transformation of societies, emerging in the geopolitical context of the post-World War period and the Cold War. Dependency theory emerged as a direct critique of Modernisation, driven particularly by thinkers in the 'global south'. Neo-liberalism has since emerged as the dominant development theory, but has since suffered its own critiques.
Seminar Activity
Take a look at the 'Introduction' to the 1981 World Bank report 'Accelerated Development in Sub- Saharan Africa'. Be prepared to discuss some of the key ideas outlined in this in light of the other set readings for this week.
Key texts:
- Gore, Charles (2000) 'The Rise and Fall of the Washington Consensus as a Paradigm for Developing Countries' World Development (28:5): 789-804
- Handelman, H. (2006) 'Understanding Underdevelopment' chapter 1 in The Challenge of Third World Development (fourth edition)
- Hettne, B. (1995) 'Eurocentric development thinking', chapter 1 in Development Theory and the Three Worlds
WEEK 3: Good Governance and the Poverty Paradigm
The weaknesses and critiques of neo-liberalism, coupled with a changing geopolitical climate with the end of the Cold War led to a new approach in the 1990s. This week we examine the development paradigm which emerged and which remains dominant: good governance and poverty alleviation; and a key response to notions of good governance: the participative and bottom-up approaches driven by civil society.
Seminar activity
Explore the World Bank's webpages on Poverty Reduction Strategies; take a look at a PRSP from a country of your choice (see, then click on 'projects and operations' which links you to the pages on poverty reduction strategies). Be ready to discuss the development theories and ideas which underpin these strategies on the basis of what you have learned in the last few.
Key texts:
- Kothari, U. (2001) 'Power, Knowledge and Social Control in Participatory Development' in B. Cooke and U. Kothari (eds), Participation: The New Tyranny? chapter 9, pp. 139-152
- Leftwich, A. (1993) 'Governance, democracy and development in the Third World' Third World Quarterly 14(3): 605-624

WEEK 4: Human Rights and Rights-based Approaches
Up until the early 1990s there was limited contact between people working with human development and people working with human rights. In the 1990s, linking to the governance agenda, developing countries increasingly demanded international assistance as entitlement. This week we will explore the so-called Rights-Based Approach (RBA), the association of 'good governance', and the actors involved.
Seminar Activity:
A guest from an NGO which uses the Rights-Based Approach will provide us with insights into using the RBA in practice. Please prepare questions and ideas for discussion from the required readings.
Key texts:
- Cornwell, A., Nyamu-Musembi, C. (2004) 'Putting the 'rights-based approach' to development into perspective' Third World Quarterly 25(8): 1415-1437
- Gready P., Ensor J. (2005) (eds) "Introduction" in Reinventing development? Translating rights-based approaches from theory into practice, pp. 1-44
WEEK 5: Development Policy Analysis - Developmental States
The role of the state in development is multi-faceted and a topic of constant debate. The developmental states which emerged in East Asia have provided a model of development which keeps returning to the agenda. This week explores the topic of developmental states in historical and contemporary perspectives, and analyses policy approaches that attempt to ensure the state acts as a driver of development.
Seminar Activity:
Questions for reflection: Does the concept of the developmental state clash with the poverty/equity agenda? Is democracy an inevitable outcome of the developmental state... or is democracy not compatible with a developmental state? Is the Asia model viable elsewhere in the developing world?
Key texts:
- Fritz, V. and A. Rocha Menocal (2007) 'Developmental States in the New Millennium: Concepts and Challenges for a New Aid Agenda' Development Policy Review 25 (5): 531-552 [online]
- Radice, H. (2008) 'The Developmental State under Global Neoliberalism' Third World Quarterly 29(6): 1153-1174
WEEK 6: Development Policy Analysis - International Cooperation
This week explores how development agendas are framed by the policies and practice of international institutions and national governments. We look at the role of multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, as well as international frameworks and agreements. We consider how development agencies use and frame development discourse, the theories and concepts that underpin global and regional agreements, and how these discourses have evolved over time.
Seminar Activity:
We will focus on the development ideas inherent in the partnership between the European Union and the ACP group of countries, and their evolution over time. In particular, we will explore what policy levers are used to shape the nature of the partnership between these two groups, and critically analyse the implications of the concept of 'partnership' in this context.
Key texts:
- St Clair, A.L. (2004) 'The role of ideas in the United Nations Development Programme' in Bs, M. and D. McNeill (eds.) Global Institutions and Development. Framing the world?
WEEK 7: Development Policy Analysis - Targets and Performance
Targets have become a key feature of the aid system, from the 0.7% of GDP target for aid to the Millennium Development Goals. This approach has been framed by a shift towards performance-based aid, and a plethora of evaluation and assessment systems to judge progress towards achieving these targets. This week we explore the issue of 'targets' within the aid paradigm: who creates, frames and monitors them.
In small groups we will explore a range of evaluation and assessment systems and comparatively analyse their strengths, weaknesses and rationales in plenary.
Key texts:
- Rogerson, A. (2005) 'Aid Harmonisation and Alignment: Bridging the Gaps between Reality and the Paris Reform Agenda' Development Policy Review 23(5)
- Vandemoortele, J. (2009) 'The MDG Conundrum: Meeting the Targets Without Missing the Point' Development Policy Review 27(4): 355 - 371
WEEK 8: Development Policy Analysis - Knowledge, Policy and Outcomes
In recent years we have developed a far more complex understanding of how effective policy is formed and implemented. We have a new appreciation of the importance of involving different actors and encompassing different perspectives, have a more critical perspective of the politics of policy formulation, and have a more nuanced understanding of how policy leads to practice and ultimately to impact (whether intended or not). This week we will utilise tools and perspectives that help us to better contextualise development interventions and their impacts.
Key texts:
- Earl, S., Carden, F., Patton, M. (2001) Outcome Mapping: Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre
- Johnson, H. and Thomas, A. (2007) 'Individual learning and building organisational capacity for development', Public Administration and Development, 27(1), pp.39-48.
WEEK 9: Development Policy Analysis - Logical framework analysis
After a basic introduction to the theory and practice of 'logical framework analysis' and the associated 'logical framework matrix' (logframe) planning tool, we will work in small groups to discuss a case study exercise in designing a project logframe.
Key texts:
- European Commission Europe Aid Cooperation Office (2004) Aid Delivery Methods, vol 1: Project Cycle Management Guidelines Brussels: EC [Section 5: The Logical Framework Approach, pp 57-94]
- Dale, Reidar 2003 'The logical framework: an easy escape, a straitjacket, or a useful planning tool?' in Development in Practice 13,1,57-70
WEEK 10: Thinking About Methods and Approaches
During this penultimate week of the course we will investigate methodological approaches to the theorisation and practice of development. We will consider the ways in which methodological and analytical approaches give us insight into how development is organised and 'works'. Additionally, we will begin to explore some key approaches and techniques.
Seminar Activity:
In groups of 2 or 3 can you prepare short presentations on i) the thinking behind and context, ii) strengths, and iii) weaknesses of one of the methodologies or tools listed below: Participatory rural appraisal; Monitoring and evaluation; Qualitative analyses in different contexts (one of politically-charged environments; elite interviews; or, language and power issues); Quantitative analyses (understanding development datasets; or deconstructing development indicators).
Key texts:
- Desai V. and Potter Robert B. (2006), Doing Development Research, SAGE
- Thomas A. and Mohan G., Research Skills for Policy and Development. How to find out Fast, SAGE publications, 2007
WEEK 11: What next for Development?
This final week of the course reviews what we have covered, and considers emerging debates in development discourse. For example, the poverty-focused approach which dominated the 1990s and 2000s is being challenged by new concerns about economic development, climate change and security. The global economic downturn is throwing up new challenges and question-marks about whether we are seeing the end of the neo-liberal world order. We are five years away from the MDG target of 2015, and the many of the goals will not be achieved. Where does development go from here?
Seminar Activity:
Explore the websites of some development agencies/think-tanks, e.g. ODI, EADI, CGD, World Bank. What themes are emerging as central to development thinking today? Reflect on how these emerging themes relate to the issues we have explored over the past few weeks.
Key texts:
- Beall, J., Goodfellow, T. and J. Putzel (2006) Introductory article: on the discourse of terrorism, security and development. Journal of international development, 18 (1): 51-67
- Boyd, E. and J. Sirkku (2009) 'Stepping up to the climate change: Opportunities in re- conceptualising development futures' Journal of International Development, 21(6): 792 - 804
- Harriss, J. (2009) 'Drivers of development over the next 30 years: Some speculations' Journal of International Development, 21(6): 772 - 775
- Vandemoortele, J. (2009) 'The MDG Conundrum: Meeting the Targets Without Missing the Point' Development Policy Review 27(4): 355 - 371
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Crush, J. (ed.) (1995) Power of Development, Routledge
Hettne, B. (1995) Development theory and the three worlds : towards an international political economy of development, 2nd edition
Leys, C. (1996) The Rise and Fall of Development Theory
Rist, G. (2002) The History of Development: from Western Origins to Global Faith.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf James Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 4321
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Adams
Tel: (0131 6)50 3315
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