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

Postgraduate Course: Politics and Theories of International Development (Distance Learning) (PGSP11318)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course presents the main social scientific theories which have underpinned international development since the 1950s. It follows the historical evolution of dominant and alternative theories which seek to explain economic, social and political transformation in developing countries over the last sixty years, critically analysing the premises upon which these theories are built. These theories emerged within complex international political contexts and we go on to explore how international, governmental and non-governmental actors and institutions engage with development theories as they seek to shape development debates and to translate theory into workable strategies and frameworks.
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 1, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will gain familiarity with the major cultural, economic and political theories of development and underdevelopment. The course will enable students to analyse the theory and practice of development in an objective and critical manner. Students will be able to critically evaluate and deconstruct the diversity and complexity of interactions amongst political, economic and social actors involved in development.
Assessment Information
Assessment will be based on two pieces of work:
1) Input to blogs/fora (20%);
2) Final synthetic written work (policy essay, 3000 words) (80%) (December)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Development 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 politics and theories of development by analyzing the dominant and alternative social scientific theories that seek to explain development outcomes, and the actors and institutions involved. It offers an introduction, overview and critical analysis of the forces shaping international development. Much of the focus will be on Africa, but the theories and examples have wider resonance throughout the developing world.
Syllabus 1. Introduction: the problem of development and underdevelopment
- History of development
- Who determines what development is and does?
2. Modernisation Theory
- Culture, values and economics
- Stages of Growth
3. Dependency Theory
- The structural school and economic imperialism
- African responses to modernisation and dependency theory
4. Neo-liberalism and its critics
- Debt crisis and structural adjustment
- Post-development
- African responses
5. Development with a Human Face
- Development in the 1990s and 2000s: sustainable development, governance, poverty reduction, security, rights-based approach
- African responses
6. Multilateral and Bilateral Donors
- Development theory within development strategies
- How dominant actors frame development discourse
7. Development Partnerships: international agreements and regional frameworks
- Major development 'pacts' within the OECD, UN and EU
- EU-ACP agreements
8. Civil Society and Development
- Civil Society as an analytical construct
- Role of NGOs and civil society
- The impact of global campaigns for change
9. Religion and Development
- Relation between Religion and Development
- The role of Faith-based Organisations (FBOs)
10. Development, knowledge and power
- Role of knowledge and power in development discourse
- Should we 'do development'?
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern This course will be entirely taught as a distance option (no face-to-face lectures) using a range of innovative and interactive teaching methods. Students will have virtual lectures delivered by a team of lecturers; they will be requested to share their perspectives related to the weekly lecture and readings on message boards and wikis; they will 'virtually' meet with their tutor and colleagues during the synchronised online tutorial; and they will be able to take advantage of Edinburgh University facilities for e-learning students, such as, for example, downloading documentaries, testing their knowledge with online quizzes and developing their own blog.

The course is divided into two sections. Weeks 2-5 will provide an overview and analysis of the main theories of development from the 1950s to the present day, outlining the international political context in which the theories arose. Weeks 6-9 will explore how development theories are translated into practice by social and political actors involved in development, using specific case study examples with group presentations by students.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Samuel Spiegel
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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