The module offers an advanced, critical perspective on contemporary approaches to international development and instruments of foreign aid. It proceeds in three steps. We first look at how state formation, institutions and development outcomes interplay in the long run. We then study how, in the twentieth century, ideas emerged and evolved to promote (changing) development goals and how these ideas translated into practice to eventually form the aid industry, whose contemporary instruments and politics are finally scrutinised. Particular attention will be paid to the ambiguous nature and trappings of the donor-recipients relationship.
The aim of this module is to enable students to develop an understanding of contemporary issues in development; to reflect on how ideas inform practice and vice-versa; to relate theoretical and empirical notions; to have an understanding of key actors and institutions in the fields of activity; to establish differences between challenges faced by humanitarian and classic development actors respectively; to allow students to engage critically in development practice, incorporating theory, practice and self-awareness.
Upon successful completion of the course students should be able to understand and participate in academic and professional discussions on development; be able to locate and critically assess academic literature and professional resources; develop a critical understanding of the desired professional role in the field of development; undertake research and formulate arguments on various contemporary challenges to development and exclusion, and be able to present a substantiated opinion.
Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 176
Total study hours: 200
International Development MA
Method of assessment
Essay, 5000 words (100%)
Reassessment methods: 100% coursework
Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)
Roxanne Lynn Doty, Imperial Encounters: The Politics of Representation in North South Relations (University of Minnesota Press 1996)
Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (Princeton UP 1995)
J. Ferguson, The Anti-Politics Machine: "Development", Depoliticization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho ((University of Minnesota Press 1996)
Britha Mikkelsen, Methods for Development Work and Research- A New Guide for Practitioners (Sage, 2nd ed., 2005)
David Mosse, Cultivating Development- An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice (Pluto 2005)
Roger Riddell, Does Foreign Aid Really Work? (OUP 2007)
Alex de Waal, Famine that Kills: Darfur, Sudan (OUP 2005)
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Knowledge and understanding of theoretical and empirical issues in development, including questions of inclusion/exclusion from legal, economic, financial, political and social perspectives.
2. Knowledge and understanding of key actors and institutions in each field of activity (see part two of the curriculum), including an appreciation of how they operate on a state and international level. This also includes self-awareness of the participant in the development field (see part three of the curriculum).
3. Knowledge and understanding of the various perspectives that provide for a critical perspective of development practices.
4. Knowledge and understanding of economic, political and legal institutions, structures and policies (see especially part two of curriculum).
5. Knowledge and understanding of the changing role of development issues in the context of global affairs, amongst other in reference to migration, security, conflict, indigenous rights.
6. Knowledge and understanding of development practice as a critical endeavour, incorporating theory, practice and self-awareness.
The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Understand and participate in academic and professional discussions on development.
2. Locate and critically assess academic literature and professional resources.
3. Develop a critical understanding of their desired professional role in the field of development.
4. Undertake research and formulate arguments on various contemporary challenges to development and exclusion, and be able to present a substantiated opinion.
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Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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