After completion of Development Studies B the students are expected to: - have deepened their empirical, theoretical, and methodological knowledge and skill within the field, especially regarding: - the impact of colonialism on development theories and developing countries - anthropological perspectives on globalisation and the Third World - be familiar with the most important contributions within the social movement field and gained a good grasp over the debate - through practical assignments get first hand experience of all different methods and types of information used in development research - independently formulate a researchable hypothesis or theory built on previous research in development
1. Development Theory and Colonial Legacies 7.5 hp
After the course, the students are expected to be able to
- account for main trends in how perceptions of development have changed over time in colonial and post-colonial Africa, Latin America and South Asia since 1800
- account for examples of how colonial policies in Africa, Latin America and South Asia have been formed in relation to perceived insufficiencies obstructing development
- analyse how perceptions of similarity and difference between groups of people influence development policies
- account for examples of how perceptions of nationality, ethnicity, race and gender been integrated parts of development perceptions
- account for how development and underdevelopment theories been worked out in relation to colonial and post-colonial experiences in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and Europe.
Content of the course
The course contains an analysis of perceptions and theories of "development" and "progress" and how these perceptions have influenced the political, economic and social practices in South Asia, Africa and Latin America since about 1800. The course deals with changes in the perceptions of development caused by colonial and post-colonial experiences. Further, the course deals with perceptions of race and ethnicity, of sex/gender and of how social power was organised politically as integrated parts of perceptions of development. The course is given by teachers from different disciplines to illustrate different perspectives on issues of development in history.
The instructions consist of lectures and seminars.
Examination is given through a written exam. One part of the exam might be examined by written assignments and active participation in seminars. In order to pass the course the students need to pass the written exam. Grades are awarded according the scale "failed", "pass" or "pass with distinction". The written test will include four questions (one for each seminar) for students who have not participated in one or more seminars, or who have not submitted the written assignments. Those who have fulfilled the seminar requirements do not have to answer these questions and can count in points for each question.
Specialisation 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.
A prerequisite for successful studies is the active participation in seminars and lectures, and the continuous reading of the course literature.
2. Social movements and political change in developing countries 5.5 hp
After completion of the course, students are expected to have acquired the following:
- be able to understand, summarise, and critically analyse a few central contributions in the literature on social movements
- be familiar with different types of social movements in developing countries
- analyse how social movements in developing countries differ from, or are similar to, social movements in developed countries, and thereby be able to identify new important and interesting research questions within the field
Content of the course
Social movements is today an important channel to influence politics through participation, and some scholars are talking about a 'social movement society' because of its institutionalisation. The literature on social movements is to a large extent based on movements in the West (U.S in particular and, to some degree, Europe) and therefore also on movements in developed countries and democracies. Different types of social movements are however widespread also in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and have informed theoretical discussions. By including the experiences and analysis from countries in the South, and thereby also developing countries and authoritarian regimes, there are large potential for theory development within the field.
This course aims to understand and analyse social movements in developing countries through different perspectives. We discuss, among other things, identity formation within different movements, how different groups chose to frame their claims, the political context and the political opportunities within systems, and if political protests lead anywhere. The global discourse on human rights has influenced how local groups around the world chose to frame their demands for change. Transnational networks between movements play an increasing role: international organisations (often with headquarters in the North) can influence national governments (often in the South) to give in to demands which local groups could not have pressed on their own.
What do social movements mean for politics in developing countries? Can protests initiate political change? Can marginalised groups influence policy-making? Many groups protest against the neo-liberal model that has been dominant in the past decades while at the same time they adopt a rights perspective, which can be seen as part of the neo-liberal model, and herein lies a paradox. This paradox will be a main theme throughout the course. One question we pose is whether the focus on identity politics, and the right to be different with regard to ethnicity, gender or sex in the past decades overshadow, and even undermine, previous demands for redistribution of resources.
The teaching consists of lectures and seminars.
Examination will be through a written home exam. Preparations before, and active participation in seminars is required. Grades are awarded according to the scale "failed", "pass" or "pass with distinction".
3. Power to the People! Supporting Decentralisation and Dev. 5.5 hp
After completion of the course, students are expected to have acquired the following abilities:
- Summarise the main components of a decentralisation reform
- Analyse and present the main priorities of Swedish development cooperation policy for democracy and human rights
- Formulate and present a research task in response to a request for knowledge assistance by a development cooperation agency – formulated in a Terms of Reference – within the area of democracy and development
- To critically examine a (consultancy-)report from a research- and development cooperation perspective
- Understand the main components of a development cooperation agency's process for the formulation of concrete support modalities
Content of the course
Swedish Development cooperation policy puts a strong emphasis on the importance of democracy and human rights as preconditions for the empowerment of poor people. At the same time, more and more countries choose to increase and empower local decision-making institutions and local development processes within for example health and education.
This course aims to deepen students' knowledge and understanding of development cooperation work and how research can contribute and improve support to democracy and development. The course will in detail follow the process of designing support to the ongoing decentralisation process in Tanzania – with Swedish policy and Partner country priorities as the points of departure.
The teaching will be designed around Sida's process for arriving at concrete support modalities to partner countries. The students will formulate a research design in response to a Sida Terms of Reference for knowledge support, present a consultancy report and outline the content of a support to Tanzania's decentralisation reform – thus providing the students with a good insight of opportunities and challenges of development cooperation in practise.
The course consists of lectures on local democracy and development, development policy and processes of development cooperation. The seminars will follow a concrete aid process from the input from research and knowledge production to implementation of support programmes.
Representatives of aid and consultancy organisations in the development cooperation area will participate in the teaching and a study-visit to a Swedish organisation or agency that works specifically with the development cooperation is part of the compulsory elements of the course.
Examination of this course is through group seminar assignments, active participation during seminars and through a written exam. Grades are awarded according to the scale "failed", "pass" or "pass with distinction". Examination is based on the written seminar assignment as well as on active participation in the seminars and the written exam. For the grade "pass" it is required that the student will have handed in all assignments and acquired the grade "pass", actively participated in all the seminars and achieved the grade "pass" on the written exam.
4. Research in politics and development 11.5 hp
After completion of the course, students are expected to have acquired the following abilities:
- to critically examine scholarly research from a methodological perspective which includes among other things: basic knowledge about the research process, what is required to establish causality and different criteria of solid research such as validity, reliability and generalisation
- to formulate and motivate their own research questions, to make a research design that help answer the research questions, and to discuss relevant problems of methodology in their study
- to conduct empirical investigations on their own and discuss relevant problems of methodology in data collection
- to improve their abilities during the process of the course - and formulate a researchable study
Content of the course
This is a course about scientific methods, with a focus on qualitative methods, and it provide students with the tools they need to write academic papers. The underlying idea is that scientific method is best understood through application, and designing our own study is an effective way of learning about relevant methodological problems and the different ways of solving them. This also provides the students with the proper methodological tools for analysing academic research in general.
We emphasise the importance of posing new and interesting research questions, and students are reminded of the central role of the research question throughout the course. The research question shall guide the choices we have to make in the research process. The focus is on qualitative methods and students practice making their own research design to answer the research question. They will also try out different types of data collection, such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, and direct observation. Some seminar assignments are especially relevant for students of development studies, such as participatory methods which apply a bottom-up perspective and are commonly used in development cooperation.
For this course, student will not write a full academic paper but will instead practice on different parts of any research project and academic product. For the last assignment, students write a dissertation memorandum where all parts of the research process are put together into a whole: in the dissertation memo students therefore formulate a research question, make a research design, analyse the empirical data at hand, and suggest possible results of the study. With the different parts put together in the dissertation memo, we are in a better position to discuss how well the research question fits with the other parts, and to discuss the relevant method problems when we have an indication of the results.
One of the course aims is that students are to improve their abilities during the process of the course, and this is also a basis for examination. The idea is that students through concrete application of the various steps of the research process will deepen their learning and understanding of academic research. Students will receive comments and feedback from the instructor and participating students during the seminar assignments that will assist the student to either overcome methodological challenges or to discuss remaining problems in an insightful way in the final dissertation memo so that a manageable research task is formulated.
The course begins with introductory lectures on the overall research process, and each seminar assignment will be introduced by a lecture. In order to introduce students to concrete examples of how research may relate to development cooperation work, at least one of the assignments will follow processes and applied research methods relevant for development cooperation and associated consultancy work.
Examination of this course is through seminar assignments and the formulation of a dissertation memo. Grades are awarded according to the scale "failed", "pass" or "pass with distinction". Examination is based on the written seminar assignment as well as on active participation in the seminars. For the grade "pass" it is required that the student will have handed in all assignments and acquired the grade "pass" and actively participated in all the seminars.
The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, video films, and study visits.
The first two parts of the course are examined by means of a written test and assignments. The third part is examined by means of assignment and active participation in the seminars. An opportunity for a re-test is given ca 3-4 weeks after the first exam. The time and place for the written tests is announced in the schedule on the net. 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.
Course level in relation to degree requirements
The students will develop their ability to critically analyse, understand and deal with, both orally and in writing, some relatively advanced texts from the central research fields of political science. The course gives the students an opportunity to reflect upon the requirements of a scientific discussion. Special attention is thereby given to the art of conveying the thoughts of others in an analytically meaningful way; the need for a concept formation of one's own "an instrument of analysis" for the characterisation and comparison of different ideas, and the importance of dealing with relevant critique in order to support one's own thesis. The student is expected to contribute actively with his own views, and there will be practice in oral presentations of the acquired knowledge. On completion of the course the student is expected to have obtained the necessary knowledge and competence to define research problems as well as carrying out and assessing empirical studies of a simple but yet qualitative kind. The course thereby provides the student with the knowledge and understanding of some basic methodological questions in the field of social science. The skills practiced include the competence to identify, formulate and seek answers to political science problems; the ability to define and carry out an assignment within given time limits; the ability to present and discuss information, problems and solutions, orally as well as in the written form; the ability to work independently with research problems and various project assignments.