Postgraduate Course: Roots of African Poverty and Development (Distance Learning) (PGSP11320)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Africa is a continent undergoing socioeconomic change at an unprecedented speed. It contains the world┐s fastest growing economies and populations yet rates of poverty remain high and new forms of exclusion and inclusion influence political and social dynamics. Africa as people, place and idea has shaped our modern world in fundamental ways. Drawing on academic literature and empirical research this course explores how various strategies employed over the decades since colonial times to bring about social, political and economic transformation in Africa have framed and defined Africa. It discusses key issues in African development issues including the role of the state, economic change, land, conflict, the informal economy and democracy. The course aims at providing a platform to discuss poverty, development and the challenges of realising justice in contemporary Africa.
While exploring scholarly texts, videos and representations in popular culture, students in this course will gain familiarity with academic and policy debates about poverty and development in Sub-Saharan Africa and deepen understanding of theories on the nexus between poverty, wealth and political change in Africa. Students will enhance their ability to contextualise these theories against the historical background and debates about contemporary Africa and its place in the world.
1. Introducing the study of contemporary Africa
2. African economies in historical context
3. The State and post-colonial transitions
4. Poverty and wealth in contemporary Africa
5. The consolidation of democracy?
6. Agriculture and the rural economy
7. Struggles over land
9. Conflict and civil war
10. Poverty and entrepreneurship in the context of the informal economy
Student learning Experience
This course is taught entirely on-line in a virtual learning platform called Learn. The course is delivered through short lecture clips, podcasts and pre-recorded lectures. There are weekly readings and students engage with the material through on-line asynchronous discussion boards as well e-tivities across the semester. These include writing a blog, a policy brief, creating a mind map and an academic poster as well as writing a group wiki. On-line tools are provided with instructions to complete these tasks. Teaching also occurs through two live on-line seminars that are delivered through Blackboard collaborate and are recorded for students who are not able to attend in person. The course organizer and course tutor guide discussions and provide feedback throughout the semester.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||70% of the course assessment will be based on a final essay (3000 words)
Contributions to online discussion forums and reflections:
20% of the course assessment will be based a student selected example of their best submission to the online discussion forum for the course of 700 -1000 words and one reply on the discussion forum of 300 - 500 words.
10% based on participation in weekly discussion forum.
||Students receive feedback on an essay plan within 10 days of submission. Students are required to reflect upon their feedback in order to improve their final coursework. Students also have the opportunity to discuss their ideas in a group skype seminar session prior to the final submission date for their summative assessment.
There may be some overlap in the issues that you focus on in the various courses, so you should pay careful attention to the topics you select. It is important that you do not duplicate your work. Students will have the opportunity to select a pre-written essay question or come up with their own essay topics in some cases; essays on self-selected topics need to be previously agreed with the Programme Director.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- show familiarity with the major historical factors affecting development in Africa
- understand how major development theories have been applied in practice in African countries
- critically examine the social, political and economic factors affecting development strategies in African countries
|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
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Hazel Gray
Tel: (0131 6)50 3879
|Course secretary||Ms Maria Brichs
Tel: (0131 6)51 3205