DV442      Half Unit
Key Issues in Development Studies

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof James Putzel CON.8.03 and Dr Rajesh Venugopal CON.8.09


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Health and International Development and MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. This course is available on the MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

Not available to students enrolled on DV400.


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 key issues and debates in international 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 (key issues may change from year to year).


20 hours of Lectures shared with the DV400 MT lectures and 15 hours of seminars. A 1 hour and 30 minutes revision lecture in the LT.

There will be a reading week in Week 6.

Formative coursework

Students will give at least one class presentation, and submit one formative essay of 2000 words.

Indicative reading

The following are recommended basic readings for the course:

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

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

A Sen, Development as Freedom (Anchor, 1999)


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 12.9
Merit 75.7
Pass 10.9
Fail 0.6

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2018/19: 123

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication