Syllabus for Development Studies A

Utvecklingsstudier A

A revised version of the syllabus is available.

Syllabus

  • 30 credits
  • Course code: 2SK021
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Development Studies G1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2007-01-24
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Revised: 2018-03-14
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2018
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements and English 6, Social Studies 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

• be able to 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

- gender perspectives on economic development

- the relationship between development and armed conflict

• 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 hp

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. In theme two, development and democracy will be analyzed 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 the creation of democracy in development states and specifically on democracy in Africa. 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".

Further instructions

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

International Environment and Sustainable Development 7.5 hp

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:

  • Be exposed to the relevant history of sustainable development and international attempts to address its goals.
  • Understand and critically discuss important topics and concepts that are intricately linked to environment, human well-being, and sustainable development.
  • 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".

Further instructions

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

3. Gender and Economic Development 7.5 hp

Learning Outcomes

This course focuses on development economics with a feminist lens. It surveys various gender dimensions of economic development with the aim that students will gain a fundamental theoretical understanding of development economics as well as feminist economics. The course should also improve the students’ knowledge about policy and practical economic development cooperation in the field. Having completed the course, the students should have attained gender-aware literacy and be able to critically examine economic development from a gender perspective.

After having completed the course, the student is expected to

  • Understand and be able to explain the differences between economic growth and human development.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of theory on feminist economics and the challenges it poses to theories of economic development.
  • Thoroughly understand common economic problems in developing countries and how they affect different groups in society.
  • Be able to describe and critically discuss how gender equality shapes economic development and how economic development impacts on gender equality.
  • Know of, be able to interpret and be able to compare different measures and indicators of development and gender equality.
  • Be able to critically discuss and assess the relevance of different policy measures from a theoretical and empirical perspective.

Content

This course examines development economics with a feminist lens. It describes how economic growth and economic development have differential impact on men, women and on gender equality. Based on theoretical perspectives from feminist economics and on human development, the course will describe and assess the impact of policy solutions and aid projects.

The first part of the course introduces the concept of gender in general and in relation to the development discourse in particular. It describes the main features of mainstream development economics and contrasts it with feminist economics. Labor market and employment is discussed in relation to concepts such as productive/reproductive and formal/informal, with an emphasis on the relevance of these concepts for the Global South in particular. Various indicators of economic inequalities are presented and at gender disaggregated data is introduced to enhance the understanding of concepts such as the feminization of poverty and multidimensional poverty both theoretically and empirically. A social provisioning approach to the gender dimension of economic life is discussed.

The second part of the course seeks to deepen the understanding of the underlying power structures of economic and gender inequalities. It brings in the broader concept of human development and describes how policy has moved from Women in Development to Gender and Development and to different capability approaches. It discusses ways of conceptualizing and practically working with critical perspectives on men and masculinities on economic development. This part of the course discusses and problematizes the relationship between economic growth and gender equality: to what extent does economic growth impact on gender equality? Does gender equality spur economic development?

The third part of the course looks at more practical policy solutions to the problem and brings up policies, methods and strategies for reducing gender inequalities. It gives a short theoretical background to each of the strategies. Examples of strategies that are discusses include (but are not limited to) gender mainstreaming, participatory approaches, gender budgeting, micro-credits and at gender and corruption.

Instruction

The teaching consists of voluntary lectures and compulsory seminars. The language of instruction for this course is English.

Assessment

Examination is based upon participation in compulsory elements of the course and a take-home exam. Grades are awarded according to the scale “failed” (U), “passed” (G), or “passed with distinction” (VG).

Further instructions

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

4. Development and Armed Conflict 7.5 hp

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. Lina Abirafeh’s book Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan, 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

This theme deals 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 written take-home exam. Grades are awarded according the scale “failed”, "pass" or "pass with distinction".

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. If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

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

Reading list

Applies from: Spring 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

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

Articles will be added

International Environment and Sustainable Development

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

    Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Matson, P. A.; Clark, William C.; Andersson, Krister. Pursuing sustainability : a guide to the science and practice

    Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2016.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

Gender and Economic Development

  • Benería, Lourdes; Berik, Günseli; Floro, Maria Gender, development and globalization : economics as if all people mattered

    2. ed.: New York: Routledge, 2016

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

Development and Armed Conflict

  • Abirafeh, Lina Gender and international aid in Afghanistan : the politics and effects of intervention

    Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • 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

Articles will be added

Reading list revisions