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Rural Development

Vak 2011-2012

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 below a description of the registration procedure.


This course offers an introduction to the theory, policy and practice of rural development. Students will develop an understanding of the social processes leading to rural poverty and environmental degradation, and of development and conservation interventions undertaken by government agencies and civil society organizations. .

Keywords: Poverty, agriculture, environment, development assistance, rural sociology.


  • Lectures:
    Wednesdays 7 September – 23 November 2011, 10-13 h,
    room number 5A37, Pieter de la Court Building

  • Exam:
    Wednesday 30 November 2011, 9-12 h
    room number SB11, Pieter de la Court Building

  • Re-take exam:
    Take-home exam in January 2012

Mode of instruction

Total of 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu)

  • Lectures: 12 × 3 h (54 sbu)
  • Literature: 645 pages (107 sbu)
  • Presentation about additional literature (119 sbu)

Assesment method

  • Exam: 0.6
  • Presentation: 0.4


Students who have been granted admission must register for this course on Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Chambers, R. 1983. Rural development: putting the last first. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd. (246 pages)
  • Li, T. 2007. The will to improve; governmentality, development, and the practice of politics. London: Duke University Press. (374 pages)
  • World Bank. 2007. World Development Report 2008: agriculture for development (Overview). Washington: World Bank. (25 pages). Download:

Additional literature (recommended)

Literature for the Presentations (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Special issue on Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Traps):

  • Barrett, C.B., A. J. Travis & P. Dasgupta. 2011. Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Traps Special Feature: On biodiversity conservation and poverty traps. PNAS 108 (34) 13907-13912.
  • Dickman, A.J., E.A. Macdonald & D.W. Macdonald. 2011. A review of financial instruments to pay for predator conservation and encourage human–carnivore coexistence. PNAS 108 (34) 13937-13944.
  • Ferraro, P.J., M.M. Hanauer & K.R.E. Sims. 2011. Conditions associated with protected area success in conservation and poverty reduction. PNAS 108 (34) 13913-13918.
  • Naughton-Treves, L., J. Alix-Garcia& C.A. Chapman. 2011. Lessons about parks and poverty from a decade of forest loss and economic growth around Kibale National Park, Uganda. PNAS 108 (34) 13919-13924.
  • Coomes, O.T., Y. Takasaki & J.M. Rhemtulla. 2011. Land-use poverty traps identified in shifting cultivation systems shape long-term tropical forest cover. PNAS 108 (34) 13925-13930.
  • Brashares, J.S., C.D. Golden, K.Z. Weinbaum, C.B. Barrett & G.V. Okello. 2011. Economic and geographic drivers of wildlife consumption in rural Africa. PNAS 108 (34) 13931-13936.
  • McNally, C.G, E. Uchida & A.J. Gold. 2011. The effect of a protected area on the tradeoffs between short-run and long-run benefits from mangrove ecosystems. PNAS 108 (34) 13945-13950.
  • Chantarat, S., C.B. Barrett, T. Janvilisri, S. Mudsri, C. Niratisayakul & P. Poonswad. 2011. Index insurance for pro-poor conservation of hornbills in Thailand. PNAS 108 (34) 13951-13956.
  • Lewis, D., S.D. Bell, J. Fay, K.L. Bothi, L. Gatere, M. Kabila, M. Mukamba, E. Matokwani, M. Mushimbalume, C.I. Moraru, J. Lehmann, J. Lassoie, D. Wolfe, D.R. Lee, L. Buck & A.J. Travis. 2011. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production. PNAS 108 (34) 13957-13962.
  • Lybbert, T.J., A. Aboudrare, D. Chaloud, N. Magnan & M. Nash. 2011. Booming markets for Moroccan argan oil appear to benefit some rural households while threatening the endemic argan forest. PNAS 108 (34) 13963-13968.

Literature for the Excursion Green Heart:

  • Doevendans, K., Lörzing, H. & Schram, A. 2007: From modernist landscapes to New Nature: Planning of rural utopias in the Netherlands. Landscape Research 32 (3) 333-354.
  • Craandijk, J. 2006. How the Netherlands got a green heart and lost it again. BMGN The Low Countries Historical Review: 195-208.

Literature for the Excursion WWF:

  • Leisher, C., et al. 2010. Does conserving biodiversity work to reduce poverty? A state of knowledge review. Arlington: The Nature Conservancy:
  • Adams, W.M. et al. 2004. Biodiversity conservation and the eradication of poverty. Science 306: 1146-1148. Download:

Literature for Guest lectures:

  • Wegner, L. & G. Zwart. 2011. Who will feed the world? The production challenge. Oxford: Oxfam Research Report.
  • Rist, L. Feintrenie & P. Levang. 2010. The livelihood impacts of oil palm: smallholders in Indonesia. Biodiversity and Conservation 19 (4): 1009-1024.


  • Studenten CA-OS: inschrijving mogelijk via het secretariaat CA-OS, kamer 3A19, tel. 5273469, e-mail:, tussen 1 juli en 15 augustus 2011.
  • Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply for the exchange programme

Contact Infromation

Drs. J van der Ploeg