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ICT4D: Information, Technology and Development


This course can be followed as part of a BA specialisations “Development in Place” and “Media and Culture”.
(onderdeel van BA Culturele Antropologie en Ontwikkelingssociologie)

Admission requirements

Only the following categories of students can register for this course:

  • Students enrolled for the BA programme “Culturele antropologie en ontwikkelingssociologie” at Leiden University who have passed the Propedeuse

  • Exchange and Study Abroad students

Please see the registration procedure below.


This course explores the development in and of cyberspace, paying attention to specific cultural settings while studying information and communication technology such as the Internet, mobile phones, GPS as well as new developmental practices that make use of such technologies.

Course objectives

  • students will be able to partake in critical discussions regarding the political, cultural and economic factors that govern the global dispersion of information technologies;

  • they will familiarize themselves with recent critical debates regarding the “information society” and learn to identify the various ideological and political purposes to which ICT is put to use by differently-positioned groups around the world;

  • they will be able to look at the question whether, and if so how, information technologies should be instruments of development projects. They will look at this question from a variety of angels: such as from the perspective of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs as well as of Greek farmers; from the perspective of European politicians as well as of Indian women; from the perspective of Dutch hackers as well as of participants of Muslim youth culture.

Time table

Every Tuesday 10-13 h staring September 7, 2010.
Room 6C03, Pieter de la Court Building

Methods of instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu):

  • Lectures 12×2 h = 36 sbu

  • Group discussions (werkgroepen) 12 hrs = 24 sbu

  • Study of literature (+/- 1000 pp) and weekly assignments about it (AQCI’s) = 170 sbu

  • Final paper 6 pp (3600 words) = 48 sbu

Assessment method

  • Weekly AQCI assignments (1 page per week)

  • Participation in discussions

  • Presence in class (at least 10 out of 12 sessions should be attended)

  • Final paper (6 pages = 3600 words)


Blackboard module will be active from the 25 August and wil be used for posting assignments and other course related information.
Students who have been granted admission must register for this course on Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Webster, Frank (ed.), 2004, the Information Society reader. London, Routledge (a selection of 200 pp)

  • Recent and relevant journal articles, made available electronically through the University Library (400 pp)

  • Kelty, Christopher M. (2008) Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. Available as paperback from Duke University Press and available as free download at


  • Studenten CA-OS: inschrijving mogelijk via het secretariaat CA-OS, kamer 3A19, tel. 5273469, e-mail:, tussen 1 juli en 20 augustus 2010.

  • Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply for the exchange programme

Contact information

Dorien Zandbergen: