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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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.
Course description 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'?

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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 21/09/2015
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will be based on two pieces of work:
1) Input to blogs/fora (30%);
2) Final synthetic written work (policy essay, 3000 words) (70%) (December)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. show familiarity with the major cultural, economic and political theories of development and underdevelopment.
  2. analyse the theory and practice of development in an objective and critical manner.
  3. critically evaluate and deconstruct the diversity and complexity of interactions amongst political, economic and social actors involved in development.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Samuel Spiegel
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
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