This course challenges students to understand and explain the extreme international variation in levels of human development, and to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of potential policy solutions, using the tools of political science. After questioning what we mean by ‘development’, the course seeks to answer three core questions: (i) Why are some places more developed than others?; (ii) Why do development initiatives so often fail?; and (iii) How can politics boost development? Debating these questions, we will cover key themes including geography, gender, the state, history, corruption, institutions, aid, identity and leadership.
Objective 1: Students will understand and critique the core concepts, theories and evidence on processes of international development.
Objective 2: Students will learn to apply the tools of political science to diagnose and propose solutions to contemporary development challenges.
Mode of Instruction
The principal mode of instruction is two weekly lectures throughout the block, with interactive participation and discussion by students. All lectures and assigned readings will be in English.
All readings must be completed during the week for which they are assigned. Readings will be drawn from a range of academic and popular publications, focusing on key theories, evidence and case studies of international development processes. Readings will be listed in a syllabus and linked from the course Brightspace page.
All students should enroll on the course’s Brightspace site before the first lecture session. Brightspace will be the principal means of communication with students and you are expected to check the course site regularly.
The first exam and the retake exam will be composed of 50% multiple choice and 50% open answer questions, all in English. Students will complete the open answer questions in English.
The time and location of inspection and debriefing of the exam will be announced via Brightspace no later than the publication of the grades.
See 'Practical Information'
Timetable courses and exams