DV447      Half Unit
Public Affairs, International Development and Gendered Violence

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Rochelle Burgess and Dr Holly Porter


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MSc in African 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 violence against women. 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, education, the household, family, marriage, reproduction and father-/motherhood and health. Violence – both physical and sexual – will be given attention. We will also explore issues relating to identity, religion and culture and power in relation to the grounding of concepts and expectations that infuse not only private life but also the thinking of policy-makers.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the LT.

There will be a ninety minute revision session in late LT or early 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

Burgess, R., & Campbell, C. (2016). Creating social policy to support women's agency in coercive settings: A case study from Uganda. Global public health, 11(1-2), 48;

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);

Tamale, S. (2011). African Sexualities, A reader. Cape Town: Pambazuka Press.


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

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2015/16: 20

Average class size 2015/16: 9

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information