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LCS-DV203 How Change and Development Happen in Africa

Dr Duncan Green will combine his academic and practical expertise to teach a new and provocative course exploring the nature of social and political change, and how social movements, political actors and others try and bring it about. The course draws on Dr Green’s new book, How Change Happens’, described by Francis Fukuyama as ‘an indispensable guide for activists and change-makers everywhere’. This course will explore the implications of systems thinking and power analysis in understanding and influencing progressive social change, and the forces that constrain it. It will also examine the interplay of actors and structures in the development field with the objective of identifying elements of successful development practice and social change.

Moving from broad debates about the nature of change, students are invited to consider a range of specific issues related to ‘doing’ development in practice, including: how non-governmental organizations mobilise people, the conditions for successful advocacy, the role of networking and informal structures in advancing social change. We will also investigate the constraints facing development agents, the politics of partnership, leadership and the role of active citizens; resistance to entrenched interests, and critical use of information. The course will use Africa as one of our primary contexts, with visiting speakers from political and social movements to discuss the current state of change processes in South Africa and elsewhere in the continent.

As part of the course, students will be asked to develop a proposal for a particular change process that they would like to see take place.

Full course outline

About the Instructor

Duncan Green

Dr Duncan Green is Professor in Practice at LSE's Department of International Development.

Dr Green is also a Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB and the  author of From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States can Change the World. He also authors the From Poverty to Power blog.

Duncan was previously Senior Policy Adviser on trade and development at DFID (UK Department for International Development) and a Policy Analyst on trade and globalisation at CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development). He is also currently a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.




Did you know?

This course includes guest lectures from experts who have worked at Oxfam South Africa and the World Bank, as well as various grassroots activists.