Development Studies A
Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 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)
- Finalised by
- The Board of the Department of Government, 13 June 2012
- Responsible department
- Department of Government
English B, Civics A
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
1. Development, Democracy, and Governance, 7.5 credits
Aims (expected study results)
The aim of this course is to introduce the students to basic concepts, facts, arguments, and causal theories about development. The purpose is also to study and discuss the role of aid, globally and in Sweden.
Content of the course
The course has three themes: Introduction to the development discourse, aid and conditionality, and development in Africa. 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 role of aid in the development process will be analysed in connection with William Easterly's book "The White Mans's Burden", a number of articles, the Paris Declaration from 2005 and some "external"
lectures. Within the general theme of development aid, the course also includes some articles about democracy promotion and democratic conditionality. The last theme is development in Africa;a continent characterised by problem-ridden countries as well as fast growing economies and stable democracies.
The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, and video film. The course is taught in English.
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".
Deepening related to the requirements of degree
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.
International Environment and Sustainable Development, 7.5 credits
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. Today sustainable development encompasses meeting human needs, such as reducing hunger and poverty, while also maintaining the life support systems of the planet. The course covers current sustainable development discourse and its theoretical and practical linkages to developmental economics, climate change, and the management of common resources and ecosystem services.
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 sustainable development challenges.
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 important topics and concepts that are intricately linked to environment, human well-being, and sustainable development.
3. Be able to discuss, debate and articulate important linkages between environment, sustainable development, and chosen theories of development.
4. Grasp the ways in which international sustainable development as a concept has failed or succeeded in fostering development.
5. Learn how to think critically about international environment and development issues and to ask questions regarding the future of the discourse on these topics.
Grading and Examination
Participation in all three seminars is mandatory. The course grade will be based on both the seminars and the exam. Students must pass both the seminars and the exam to pass the course. Grading for this course is U, G, or VG.
Lectures and Seminars
The teaching consists of lectures and seminars, and group work. The course is taught in English.
3. (En)gendering International Development, 7.5 credits
Content of the Course
This unit 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.
Objectives of the course
• 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.
Learning outcomes from the lectures
By the end of the course, students should have achieved the following
• Develop a critical approach towards the theory and practice of development.
• Identify the tensions between gender and development.
• Ability to apply their conceptual knowledge to understand empirical case studies in historical and contemporary development contexts.
• Familiarity with different methodological tools and techniques for researching and appraising development issues.
• Gained good knowledge on how development processes, both, alleviate suffering and impoverish livelihoods.
Seminars: THE ‘EXPERTS’ MODEL
The seminar sessions will introduce the ‘experts’ model, which creates a learning environment with the following objectives.
• Seminars will be student-led.
• The seminars will create a learning structure where students actively learn, participate and lead discussions with fellow-scholars. Students will be responsible not just for presentation of key ideas and texts but for the smooth running of the seminar as a whole, including leading discussion and close reading of texts, encouraging participation, and providing intellectual closure at the end of the seminar.
At the start of the course, you will all be asked to sign up to facilitate a given week (in line with lectures). You facilitate as an ‘expert’ for a specific week/ topic of your choice. There can be two or three ‘experts’ facilitating each seminar, and you will need to set aside time to meet with your co-facilitators to prepare well in advance of the seminar itself. Attendance of seminars is mandatory, but will not be formally assessed.
1. All those who will facilitate the seminar should meet up with each other to discuss running the seminar at least a week before the seminar.
2. They should divide the tasks of conducting the seminar among themselves so that all get an opportunity to participate in the discussion.
3. The content and format of the seminar will be the responsibility of the team though you can approach the tutor and discuss your ideas before the seminar.
4. The success of the seminar depends on creativity, using different formats and engagement.
An example of the ‘Expert’ model.
1. You can choose an article (s) or a book chapter and present the central arguments in the piece through the author’s voice. 2. Your team then evaluates this piece in relation to other existing literature. 3. You then critically present your own ideas; where you agree with the text and areas where you disagree. Your own critical insights can frame the research question for the class or you might want to critically assess a theoretical approach (through a video-clip, newspaper cutting or a documentary).
Learning outcomes and transferable skills from seminars
• Synthesis and presentation of arguments from key texts.
• Development of critical thinking
• Management of time in a learning environment.
• Independence of thought in designing research activity and managing student-cohorts.
• Experience of working in a team
The teaching consists of lectures and seminars. The course is taught in English.
Students will be examined through a written exam and active participation in mandatory seminars.
4. Development and Armed Conflict, 7.5 credits
Learning outcomes (expected study results)
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 of the course
The course has four themes: (1) introduction; (2) good governance and democracy; (3) resource scarcity and the so-called resource curse; and (4) the role of development cooperation in the context of armed conflict. The Miniatlas of Human Security gives a survey of political violence in the world, and of the relationship between armed conflict, poverty and different types of political institutions. 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 theme “good governance and democracy” deals with the relationship between on the one hand corruption, and on the other hand attempts to capture the state through coups or guerrilla warfare. 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. The role of gender equality for development and violent conflict is another important issue within this theme. We will discuss the gender aspect on the basis of recent research articles and the 2001 World Bank Policy Research Report Engendering Development. The link between armed conflict and scarce natural resources (e.g., conflict between herders and farmers over dwindling water resources), and between armed conflict and a relative abundance of certain types of resources (e.g., oil, diamonds) is dealt with in several recent articles from academic journals. Also The Bottom Billion has a lot to say on this issue. Development aid in the context of armed conflict is the theme of Mary B. Anderson’s classic Do No Harm.
The teaching consists of lectures and seminars.
This course is taught in English.
Grades will be based on a short multiple-choice test, and a written take-home exam. Grades awarded are “fail”, “pass”, or “pass with distinction”.
The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, video films, and study visits.
The various parts of the course are examined by means of written tests. Each of the four courses also has seminars. Grades are awarded according the scale “failed”, "pass" or "pass with distinction".
Course level in relation to degree requirements
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’s reception.
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’s reception.
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2023
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2022
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2021
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2020
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2019
- Reading list valid from Spring 2019
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2018
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2017
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2016
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2015
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2014
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2013
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2012
- Reading list valid from Spring 2012
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2011
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2010
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2009
- Reading list valid from Spring 2009
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2008
- Reading list valid from Autumn 2007