Master’s studies

Syllabus for Development Studies A: Basic Course

Utvecklingsstudier A

A later update of this course syllabus has been published.

Syllabus

  • 30 credits
  • Course code: 2SK021
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Development Studies G1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG).
  • Established: 2007-01-24
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Revised: 2015-05-20
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 35, 2015
  • Entry requirements: Civics 1b/1a1+1a2, or English B, Civics A
  • Responsible department: Department of Government

Learning outcomes

After completion of Development Studies A the students are expected to:

  • be able to describe the most central global development problems
  • independently formulate and discuss problems within the area
  • have some knowledge of basic theories and concepts, especially regarding:
  • development, democracy, and the state
  • sustainable development
  • an understanding of feminist interventions in development debates and how gender shapes development and how development practice shapes local gendered realities
  • be acquainted with some current research and research discussions
  • independently and critically analyse and discuss central problems in development
  • connect the theoretical studies to a practical reality and a possible future job market

Content

1. Development, Democracy, and Governance 7.5 credits

LEARNING OUTCOMES
After the course, the students are expected to be able to:

  • understand basic concepts, facts, discussions and theories on development
  • analyse and discuss the role of aid and conditionality
  • have gained an increased understanding regarding the relationship between democracy, governance and development
  • account for specific development problems and causes in different regions of the world
  • understand and discuss some of the current research problems on development

CONTENT
The course has three themes: Introduction to the development discourse, aid and conditionality, and development in practice. In the first theme the well-known book "Development as Freedom" by Amartya Sen and several articles will introduce you to some of the most important problems and discussions about development. The relationship between development and democracy will be particularly studied. In theme two, development and democracy will be analysed in connection with aid based on William Easterly's book "The White Man's Burden” and a number of articles. Within this theme there is a focus on aid policies and on the concept “democracy promotion”. The last theme is development in practice; a section planned to study development through specific regional cases that allow us to understand some of the problems and possibilities it faces. It includes specific initiatives aimed to deal with the most pressing problems in the field while discussing the ways in which such challenges and programs can be further analysed and theorised.

INSTRUCTIONS
The teaching consists of lectures and seminars.

ASSESSMENT
Students are examined through a written exam. Active participation in seminars, which include written assignments, gives credit when doing the written exam. Grades are awarded according the scale “failed”, "pass" or "pass with distinction".

SPECIALIZATION IN RELATION TO EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
The course aims to give students knowledge and understanding about the field and a practice in independent evaluation, critical treatment and discussions of this knowledge.

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS
Further instructions will be given at the start of the course.

International Environment and Sustainable Development 7.5 credits

LEARNING OUTCOMES
The goal of this course is to introduce the student to the multi-dimensional aspects of sustainable development, by looking at the historical roots and dual goals of sustainable development, and then focusing on current topics to understand how they link to development theory and the discussion how sustainable development can be affected on international, national, and local levels.

The learning objectives of this course are that students will:

  1. Be exposed to the relevant history of sustainable development and international attempts to address its goals.
  2. Understand and critically discuss important topics and concepts that are intricately linked to environment, human well-being, and sustainable development.
  3. Be able to discuss and articulate how sustainable development can be affected on international, national, and local levels.
CONTENT
This course focuses on international environmental issues and sustainable development. The concept of sustainable development was established in 1987 when the World Commission on Environment and Development determined that the world was facing an enormous challenge: To make development sustainable and to ensure that the world provided for the needs of both present and future generations. The course covers the current sustainable development discourse and how sustainable development can be affected on international, national, and local levels. In this latter part we pay particular attention to the research discussion on natural resources as “common property resources”.

INSTRUCTIONS
The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, and video film.

ASSESSMENT
Students are examined through a written exam. Active participation in seminars, which include written assignments, gives credit when doing the written exam. Grades are awarded according the scale “failed”, "pass" or "pass with distinction".

SPECIALIZATION IN RELATION TO EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
The course provides the students with the opportunity to practice independent evaluation and critical treatment of development theories by relating these theories both to their epistemological context and to the historical contexts within which they were worked out.

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS
Further instructions will be given at the start of the course.

3. (En)gendering International Development 7.5 credits

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • To understand how contemporary development interventions are shaped by historical processes of imperialism and colonialism.
  • To achieve a critical understanding of dominant paradigms of development theory, practice and implementation.
  • To achieve an understanding of feminist interventions in development theory and practice.
  • To understand how gender shapes development and how development practice shapes local gendered realities.
  • To develop in-depth understanding on how structural processes impact on everyday lives of people.
CONTENT
This course introduces students to the theoretical and conceptual approaches in development theory and its implementation. It critically engages with how gender shapes development theory and how development practice impacts on gender relations and gendered realities. Focusing primarily on the global south, the unit will draw empirical examples from Africa, the Middle East, South/South East Asia and Latin America. The unit will commence with an overview of how ‘orientalism’ serves as an effective discourse for the justification and institutionalisation of (neo)-imperialism globally and the ways in which it shapes debates on development in colonial and post-colonial contexts. We will move on to analyse the collusions and contestations between colonialism and nationalism and the important but often neglected role of ‘domesticity’ as an anti-colonial strategy.

We will then investigate how feminist theoretical models have challenged ma(le)instream development debates and the inherent ‘male bias’. Structural Adjustment programmes were the key development tool of financial giants such as IMF and World Bank, with the aim to bring developing societies ‘on track’ with the developed world. But things went wrong? Why? In addition, one purpose of these programmes was to control ‘population explosion’ in the developing world but which came at a huge cost to individual livelihoods and created gender-imbalances in societies.

As well as considering substantive development issues, the course allows the opportunity to look at the changing role of the state in relation to war and violence. The current explosion of ethnic and civil conflicts are not understood in terms of lack of development, but, problematically, in terms of innate barbarity and backwardness of nation-states. Is this entirely true?

The course will conclude by looking at how development processes, despite their inherent weaknesses, have created pockets of empowerment, which are self-sufficient and self-sustaining and have enabled many societies to recover from debt-led growth.

INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions consist of lectures and seminars.

ASSESSMENT
Students are examined through a written exam, oral presentation and active participation in seminars. Grades are awarded according the scale “failed”, "pass" or "pass with distinction".

SPECIALIZATION IN RELATION TO EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
The course provides the students with the opportunity to practice independent evaluation and critical treatment of development theories by relating these theories both to their epistemological context and to the historical contexts within which they were worked out.

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS
Further instructions will be given at the start of the course.

4. Development and Armed Conflict 7.5 credits

LEARNING OUTCOMES
The aim of this course is to introduce the students to basic concepts, facts, arguments, and causal theories about the relationship between development and armed conflict. The purpose is also to study and discuss the role of aid, globally and in Sweden, with regard to armed conflict.

CONTENT
The course is organised into three themes: (1) The Conflict-Development Nexus; (2) Conflict Analysis and What to Do; (3) Fusing or separating warfare and aid

(1) The Conflict-Development Nexus
The book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jarred Diamond provides an explanation for the deep historical roots of today’s unequal world. When we read Diamond’s book we pay particular attention to the origins of societies organised on a larger scale (e.g., chiefdoms, states, empires), and the role of violence therein. We also watch and discuss a documentary made by National Geographic on the basis of this book. Paul Collier’s widely cited book The Bottom Billion provides an overview of findings on how poverty breeds armed conflict, and how armed conflict in turn causes poverty, so that poor countries may end up being caught in a conflict trap. The relationship between peace and economic growth in East Asia is studied with the help of an article by Ethel Solingen. The role of good governance is dealt with through discussion of the relationship between on the one hand corruption and patronage, and on the other hand attempts to capture the state through coups or guerrilla warfare. The link between armed conflict and natural resources (e.g., oil, diamonds) is dealt with in several recent articles from academic journals and The Bottom Billion.

(2) Conflict Analysis and What to Do
This theme opens with methods for conflict analysis, with a special focus on practical applications. The intended and unintended consequences of development and humanitarian work in conflict research is the subject of Mary B. Anderson’s classical book Do No Harm. An important but often overlooked aspect of conflict analysis is gender. Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden’s book Sex and War, and several articles, deal with the relationships between gender equality, development and peace. Another central issue in this context is how elections can provoke violent conflict when held in a non-democratic context. Paul Collier’s latest book Wars, Guns, and Votes is the main source when discussing these relationships.

(3) Fusing or separating warfare and aid
We begin this theme with an overview of critical security theory, with special attention to claims about development and conflict. The reading for this part is a thorough review article. Next we deal with arguments and empirical results regarding military interventions and peacekeeping operations. An important issue is the militarisation of aid, and the potential benefits and disadvantages thereof. The readings for this theme consists of articles as well as parts of the books that are read in the two preceding themes of the course.

INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions consist of lectures and seminars.

ASSESSMENT
Grades will be based on a short multiple-choice test, and a written take-home exam. Grades are awarded according the scale “failed”, "pass" or "pass with distinction".

SPECIALIZATION IN RELATION TO EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
The course aims to give students knowledge and understanding about the field and a practice in independent evaluation, critical treatment and discussions of this knowledge.

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS
Further instructions will be given at the start of the course.

Instruction

The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, video films, and study visits. This course is taught in English.

Assessment

The various parts of the course are examined by means of written tests. An opportunity for a re-test is given ca 3-4 weeks after the first exam. Each of the four courses also has seminars. Grades are awarded according the scale “failed”, "pass" or "pass with distinction". To get the grade “pass with distinction” for the whole A course that grade is needed for at least 15 points of the totally 30 points.

Other directives

No prior formal qualification is required except general entrance requirements. To be able to pursue this course in a satisfactory way good knowledge from the courses in social science and history from high school is probably needed. Since most of the course literature is in English a good command of English is required. Note that the courses are taught in English. If you would like to have further information about suitable prior knowledge or experience, please contact the department.

Reading list

Applies from: week 35, 2015

Development, Democracy and Governance

Development, Democracy and Governance

  • Sen, Amartya Development as freedom

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Easterly, William The white man's burden : why the West's efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good

    New York: Penguin Press, 2006

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Cupples, Julie Latin American development

    London: Routledge, 2013

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

International Environment and Sustainable Development

  • Baker, J. Mark The kuhls of Kangra : community-managed irrigation in the Western Himalaya

    1. ed.: Seattle, Wash. [u.a.]: Univ. of Washington Press, 2005

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Ostrom, Elinor Governing the commons : the evolution of institutions for collective action

    Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Speth, James Gustave; Haas, Peter M. Global environmental governance

    Washington: Island Press, cop. 2006

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

(En)Gendering International Development

Throughout the course, we will engage with chapters from the following classic texts. It is, however, not mandatory to buy these books:

  • Kabbani, Rana Imperial fictions : Europe's myths of the Orient ; [new preface]

    London [u.a.]: Saqi, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • McClintock, Anne Imperial leather : race, gender and sexuality in the colonial contest

    London: Routledge, 1995

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Waylen, Georgina The Oxford handbook of gender and politics

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, c2013

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Peet, Richard Feminist Theories of Development

    Part of:

    Peet, Richard; Hartwick, Elaine Theories of development : contentions, arguments, alternatives

    2. ed.: New York: Guildford Press, cop. 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Bauman, Zygmunt Wasted lives : modernity and its outcasts

    Cambridge: Polity, 2004

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Kaldor, Mary New & old wars : [organized violence in a global era]

    2. ed.: Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Butler, Judith Frames of war : when is life grievable?

    London: Verso, 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

Development and Armed Conflict

  • Anderson, Mary B. Do no harm : how aid can support peace - or war

    Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1999

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Collier, Paul The bottom billion : why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it

    New York: Oxford University Press, cop. 2007

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Collier, Paul. Wars, guns, and votes : democracy in dangerous places

    1. ed.: New York: Harper, 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Diamond, Jared Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies

    New York: Norton, cop. 1997

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • How to conduct a conflict analysis : conflict-sensitive development co-operation

    Stockholm: Department for Cooperation with NGOs, Humanitarian Assistance and Conflict Management, Sida, 2004

    Available from Studentportalen

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Nisbett, Richard E.; Cohen, Dov. Culture of honor : the psychology of violence in the South

    Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1996

    Pages xv-11, and 86-88. Available from Studentportalen.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Potts, Malcolm; Hayden, Thomas Sex and war : how biology explains warfare and terrorism and offers a path to a safer world

    Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added