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

Postgraduate Course: Analysing Development (Distance Learning) (PGSP11319)

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
SummaryAid is a specific instrument within international relations, employed in the achievement of both moral and strategic objectives by a range of international actors. For many countries in the developing world, aid has played and continues to play a crucial role in dealing with humanitarian emergencies, funding social services, stimulating economic development, and supporting the work of non-governmental actors. Yet it can have perverse effects, putting recipient states in a situation of dependency vis--vis their international sponsors and undermining public services while seeking to strengthen them. In some situations, aid has fuelled economic crises and political turmoil. This course provides both a practical overview of international development assistance, and equips students with the knowledge and tools to critically assess the social and political effects of aid, and the way aid policy is made and executed. We will explore the main rationales and theories for providing aid, the major themes in aid of the last two decades and contemporary debates. The course will have a strong focus on aid policy and strategies, drawing heavily on grey literature produced by aid agencies (OECD, international financial institutions, major bilateral donors, the European Union) and large NGOs. The course is suitable for students interested in future employment within aid agencies, international NGOs or developing countries, as well as professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge of aid policy and practice.
Course description 11. Introduction: history of aid and the 'aid effectiveness' drive
12. Aid, Poverty and Growth: the main theories of aid
13. Why do we give aid? Moral and strategic objectives
14. More government, less government? The shifting politics of aid modalities
15. 'Targeting' aid: setting the Millennium Development Goals
16. Conditionality and selectivity
17. Moral dilemmas: aid and its unforeseen consequences in conflict zones
18. Dependency and self-reliance: the 'ownership' debate
19. Aid for democracy-promotion: can aid induce 'good governance'?
20. Conclusion: Does aid work? Can it work?
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 2
Course Start Date 11/01/2016
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) 5000 word research paper (100%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will have gained familiarity with the major trends in development aid and the rationales behind it. They will have an understanding of important past and contemporary debates in development aid, and will have learned how to engage critically with the complex social, political and economic contexts in which aid programmes are designed and delivered. Students will gain experience in the analysis of aid policy documents and strategies.
Reading List
Black, R. and H. White (2004) Targeting Development: Critical Perspectives on the Millennium Development Goals
Degnbol-Martinussen, J. and P. Engberg-Pedersen (2003). Aid: Understanding International Development Cooperation.
Gibson, C.C, Andersson, K., Ostrom, E. and S. Shivakumar (2005) The Samaritan's Dilemma. The Political Economy of Development Aid.
Lancaster, C. (1999). Aid to Africa. So Much to Do, So Little Done.
Lancaster, C. (2007). Foreign Aid. Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics
Maren, M. (1997) The Road to Hell. The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity
Riddell, R.C. (2007) Does Foreign Aid Really Work?
Tarp, F. (2000) Foreign Aid and Development. Lessons learnt and directions for the future.
Uvin, P. (1998) Aiding Violence
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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