Introduction to International Development

This course provides students with an interdisciplinary introduction to the ideas, historical processes and events, policy debates and practical interventions that are shaping the economic, social and political direction of international development today.

The specific objectives of the course are to: 

  • to demonstrate that development is not just about the ‘South’ or the ‘Third World’ but that it should be understood as a global phenomenon 
  • to describe and evaluate the main intellectual traditions out of which ideas about international development have emerged 
  • to show how development can only be fully understood if its historical and political dimensions are given as much attention as its economic and social dimensions 
  • to illustrate how development policy and practice has evolved over time and why some options are seen as possible by governments, International Financial Institutions and civil society organisations while others are not 
  • to do this by looking in depth at the following key themes: ‘late’ development (i.e. industrialisation now) and industrial policy; agrarian change and rural development; governance and public policy; the international order Learning outcomes At the end of this course and having completed the essential reading and activities students should be able to: 
  • show why development should be understood as global phenomenon 
  • discuss and critically evaluate the main intellectual traditions shaping international development today
  • use a range of historical, political, economic and social concepts and facts in their analysis of development issues 
  • demonstrate a good understanding of how policy debates and practical interventions have evolved over time in the context of a number of key themes.
  • Desai, V. and Potter, R. (eds) The Companion to Development Studies. (Routledge; 2014) 3 rd edition [ISBN 9781444167245] 
  • Todaro, M. and S. Smith Economic Development. (Addison Wesley, 2014) 12th edition [ISBN 9781292002972] 

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