DV447      Half Unit
Public Affairs, International Development and Gendered Violence

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Purna Sen


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MSc in Development Studies and MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Previous study of the social sciences or humanities is preferred.

Course content

The framework for this course will see economic, social and private aspects of development and public policy as reference points to examine silences, biases and analyses of sex and sexual violence. We will consider the sexually informed constructions of women’s place in the home and in the public sphere, how development and public policy make assumptions about control over women’s bodies, and the ways in which such are challenged or reinforced. We will look at war and conflict, humanitarian work and times of ‘peace’. We will examine assumptions and judgements about (hetero)-sexuality, sexual control (by the self and by others) and how these have been drawn on by policy-makers and other actors, both in the public and domestic spheres. There will be discussions about the labour market and workplace, the household, family, marriage, reproduction and father-/motherhood and HIV/health. Violence – both physical and sexual – will be given attention. There will be time also on identity, religion and culture in relation to the grounding of concepts and expectations that infuse not only private life but also the thinking of policy-makers. The course will draw on relevant literature as well as the teacher’s experience in the world of international policy and politics.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to write a short paper of 800-1000 words on the topic on which they will lead a class

Indicative reading

Bott S ,Morrison A, Ellsberg M,(2005) Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in middle and low-income countries a global review and analysis, World Bank
Engels F, (1884) The Origin of the family, private property, and the state.
Khalid Hosseini (2007) A Thousand Splendid Suns, Bloomsbury or Andre Brink (2012) Philida, Harvill Secker
Nussbaum, M (2011) Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach, Harvard University Press
Sen, A (2000) Development as Freedom, Oxford: Oxford paperbacks
Sen, P, (2003) Successes and Challenges: Understanding the Global Movement to end Violence against Women, in Global Civil Society yearbook, Anheier H, Glasius M, Kaldor M (eds)


Exam (80%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (20%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information