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

Postgraduate Course: Roots of African Poverty and Development (Distance Learning) (PGSP11320)

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
SummaryA vast proportion of the world's poorest people live in Africa; yet, it is a continent which has seen massive inflows of international development assistance in its various forms. This course explores how Africa became a 'development problem' and the various strategies employed over the decades since colonial times to bring about social, political and economic transformation in Africa. It considers the theories underpinning specific development strategies and initiatives, the social and political contexts in which they were undertaken, and the reasons for success and failure. The course will focus on specific examples of development initiatives in Africa, considering the interaction amongst the range of actors involved (states, elites, peasants, civil society, multinational corporations, multilateral institutions, donors, NGOs, etc.). As the second core course for the MSc programme in African and International Development, this course will complement Politics and Theories of Development, providing Africa-specific examples. It will also act as a stand-alone option for other MSc programmes.
Course description 1. Introduction:
- why is Africa the poorest continent on the planet?
- Contextualising the way in which development and underdevelopment are defined, and their application in Africa.
2. Development and underdevelopment during the colonial period
3. Africa's post-independence development strategies
4. Green revolution? Agricultural transformation and rural development
5. Uneven development: inequality, poverty and development strategies in Africa's wealthier states
6. Environment, climate change and sustainable development
7. Development in post-conflict and fragile states
8. African Development for Africa: Regional development organisations and strategies
9. Development from Below: participatory development in the 1990s and 2000s
10. Africa's 'developmental' states:
- The changing face of development in Africa
- Challenging 'development' in Africa
- Has development underdeveloped Africa?
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%) (June).
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 historical factors affecting development in Africa
  2. understand how major development theories have been applied in practice in African countries
  3. critically examine the social, political and economic factors affecting development strategies in African countries
Reading List
Adesina, J.O., Yao Graham and A. Olukoshi (2006) Africa & Development. Challenges in the New Millennium
Ake, C. (1996) Democracy and Development in Africa
Ferguson, James (1990) The Anti-Politics Machine
Kothari, Uma (2005) A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies
Lockwood, Matthew (2005) The State They're In. An Agenda for International Action on Poverty in Africa
Nugent, Paul (2004) Africa since Independence
Nyang'oro, J.E. and T. Shaw (1995) Beyond Economic Liberalisation in Africa: Structural Adjustment and the Alternatives
Olukoshi, A.O. and L. Wohlgemuth (1995) A Road to Development: Africa in the 21st Century
Rodney, Walter (1972) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Collier, Paul (2007) The Bottom Billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it
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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