DV501      Half Unit
Development History, Theory and Policy for Research Students

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof James Putzel


This course is compulsory on the MRes/PhD in International Development. This course is available on the MRes/PhD in Management (Employment Relations and Human Resources) and MRes/PhD in Management (Organisational Behaviour). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Available with the permission of the teacher responsible.

Course content

The course integrates the concepts and perspectives of a range of disciplines to consider: major trends of development and change in modern history and interpretations of them in the social sciences and contemporary economic and social theory and their bearing on the policy and practice of development. With reference to comparative historical experience, we explore the role of states and markets in development and/underdevelopment, colonial legacies, the political economy of growth and redistribution, and the role of politics and power in development. We examine key issues in development such as: the record of pro-market reforms; the experience of "developmental states"; and the challenges to development thinking and practice presented by feminist theory, environmental sustainability, globalisation and new patterns of global inequality.


20 hours of lectures and 20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Students will attend the Michaelmas Term lectures for DV400 (though the reading requirement is specific to DV501) and an associated weekly seminar for research students only.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 presentations in the MT.

Indicative reading

Chang, HJ Economics: The User's Guide (Penguin, 2014)Sen, A Development as Freedom (Anchor, 1999)

Polanyi, K. (2001 / 1944) The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Times (Boston: Beacon Press), HC53 P76 [also a network e-book]

Chang, HJ Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (Anthem, 2002)

Kohli, A. State-Directed Development: Political Power and Industrialization in the Global Periphery (Cambridge, 2004)

Rodrik, D One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth (Princeton University Press, 2008)

Ferguson, J. The Anti-Politics Machine: 'Development', Depoliticisation and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (Cambridge, 1990)

Jerven, M. Poor Numbers: How we are misled about African development statistics and what to do about it (Cornell, 2013)


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in January.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2018/19: 4

Average class size 2018/19: 4

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication