International Development@LUC showcases our innovative partnership with the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS), which is a world-famous center for critical development studies at the graduate and post-graduate level. LUC is excited to bring this expertise into the service of undergraduate students interested in addressing this urgent global challenge. In an increasingly interdependent world, the pace at which and the conditions under which local, national, regional, and global development take place is rapid and complex. As the prescribed and ascribed geopolitical divisions of North-South and East-West continue to provoke different degrees of violence and flux, a responsible and critical approach to international development is urgently needed.
International Development@LUC is an original, interdisciplinary major that draws from anthropology, economics, environmental studies, ethics, geography, gender studies, governance, law, management studies, politics, and sociology. Students will learn how to bring methods, skills and insights from all these perspectives towards a coherent, holistic appreciation of the difficulties plaguing development studies and development itself; students are enpowered with the necessary conceptual and pragmatic tools to intervene in the development debate. Learning to navigate multiple levels of analysis and dimensions of inquiry, students will be challenged to question not only so-called universal norms of development, but also any personal penchant for liberal, democratic ideals.
Conducive for robust and reflective global citizenship, such interrogations can take shape in a number of different ways. Many students are specifically interested in human development, and they are encouraged to start with ethical reflection on the ends and means of local, national, regional, and global development. Central are questions of forced migration, poverty, and inequality, as well as debates surrounding gender and development on the one hand, and human security on the other.
Other students might be more interested in institutional development, focusing on: development-specific macro- and micro-economic policies; governance issues (such as World Bank’s agenda for reform, development aid, private sectors, and organised labour); global processes and associated volatilities in developing economies; impact of trade, investment, and financial regimes on civil society and state sovereignty; and sustainable resource management towards a viable balance between ecological systems and economic processes.
Finally, one of the most original ways in which students can engaged questions of development is through the nexus of law, society and need. Hence, International Development@LUC is sensitive to the fact that serious efforts to meet global challenges will sooner or later encounter the limits of law in developing countries. At the interface between state and society, students consider how and whether it should be the function of law and legal institutions to regulate people’s security, economic advancement, social justice and environmental protection, to mention just a few goals of development.
Graduates of International Development@LUC aspire to make a difference in the world of governmental or non-governmental agencies, charities and development agencies. But they are also technically trained, analytically savvy, and critical of received knowledge; they are well situated for careers in the media, knowledge industries or consultancies. Some will move naturally into an MA or MSc, perhaps at the ISS.