Development Management

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof David Keen CON 7.16, Dr Diana Weinhold CON 7.10 and Prof Jean-Paul Faguet CON 8.06

Head of Department, Doctoral Programme Directors, MSc Course Convenor and PhD supervisor


This course is available on the MRes/PhD in International Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is available to students in Year 2 or above of the MRes/PhD in International Development only. It is available to students in Year 1  of the MRes/PhD in International Development with permission.

Course content

Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why are some governed well and others badly? This course employs a political economy approach to examine the causes of development, identify the underlying obstacles to development, and evaluate potential solutions. It focuses on the principles governing the institutions, politics, and organisations through which policies, programmes and projects are produced and implemented.  Attention is given to the different kinds of authority, incentives and accountability mechanisms that govern the relationships between leaders, managers and recipients. It reviews ongoing debates about the best ways of designing state agencies, private firms and NGOs, by showing how centralised bureaucracies, markets, participatory and solidaristic agencies operate to provide services in practice. It explores the dynamics of different forms of democratic and authoritarian states, the determinants of good and poor governance, and how social, political and economic forces interact to drive change and stability. In order to enable students to make practical judgments about institutional reform programmes in various contexts, competing approaches to development are critically and constructively analyzed in light of case studies. The course is divided into four parts: (1) Analytical Assumptions, (2) Government and Governance, (3) Private Sector, and (4) Civil Society. On completing the course students should be able to: (i) use theory to identify the causes of actual development challenges, (ii) identify and assess relevant case study material to inform development practice; and (iii) employ the insights developed throughout the course to formulate policy recommendations and plans of action for improving development.


20 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars and 15 hours of workshops in the MT. 16 hours of lectures, 12 hours of seminars and 15 hours of workshops in the LT. 3 hours and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

There will be an introductory workshop, 18 two-hour lectures and 18 one-and-a-half hour seminars over the Michaelmas & Lent Terms. Students are expected to attend all these sessions. Lectures will focus on the theoretical debates driving current policy practice in the development community, while seminars will relate these to practical problems of implementation, drawing on case studies, class exercises, and the personal experience of participants. Seminars will discuss topics covered in the lecture, and will be conducted on the basis either of a student presentation or a class exercise.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

A plan for the research paper (1500-2000 words) on which the student will receive feedback and topic approval

Indicative reading

A detailed weekly reading list is provided at the first course meeting. Background readings include: Brett, E.A. (2009) Reconstructing Development Theory; Faguet, JP. 2012. Decentralization and Popular Democracy: Governance from Below in Bolivia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; Chang, H. 2003, Rethinking development economics, Anthem Press; London, Intermediate Technology; Kohli, A. 2004 State-directed development: political power and industrialization in the global periphery, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press; Linz, J. & A. Stepan, Problems of democratic transition and consolidation, Johns Hopkins; Olson, M. 1982 The rise and decline of nations, Yale University Press; North, D. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge University Press. Putnam, R. D. 1993. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press; Rodrik, D. (Ed.). 2003. In Search of Prosperity: Analytical Narratives on Economic Growth: Princeton University Press; Sen. A., 1999 Development as Freedom. Oxford University Press; Stiglitz, J. 2002 Globalization and its discontents, Allen Lane, 2002; World Bank, World Development Report, 2004, Making services work for poor people, Washington, World Bank.


Assessment path 1
Essay (100%, 10000 words) in the ST.

Assessment path 2
Exam (60%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (40%, 5000 words) in the ST.

The research paper will be co-marked by the course convenor and the student's PhD supervisor. 

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills