Course Number


Syllabus Date

Spring 2018

Department course is offered by

ID - International Development and Social Change

Course description

Geo-politics and international relations invariably refer to the problems of Third World under-development. This course introduces studies to key histories, concepts and debates in international development through critical and analytical engagements with relevant literature on the subject. We will examine development as a project that involves power relation s and regimes of rule. We will witness how development is historically and culturally situated and explore the ways in which people/communities mobilize, make history, and envision alternative futures that ultimately can change how we all live with one another, encounter and define what ‘development’ means, and perhaps more importantly, as defined by whom.

The course will not provide definitive answers to the above questions. Rather, the goal is to present students with a range of viewpoints on different issues and to create opportunities to further strengthen their critical thinking and writing skills. By the end of the course, you should be able to knowledgeably discuss the following the topics:

1) The history and political economy of “development” as a post-WWII project;

2) Key debates concerning development, under-development, globalization, neo-liberalism, and the role of the state;

3) The rise of international financial institutions and development agencies as well as the role non-governmental organizations, social movements, and other “civil society” actors have played in this complicated process;

4) Some of the key concepts and practices within the development industry (e.g. humanitarian assistance, accountability, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and volunteer / voluntourism).

Document Type