Not available in 2020/21
Development and Social Change

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof David Lewis OLD.2.40

Dr Hakan Seckinelgin OLD.2.27


This course is available on the BSc in Criminology, BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics and BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.



Course content

The course introduces students to the interrelationship between social and public policy and different socio-political contexts in middle and low-income countries. It focuses on the ways in which different countries organize their policy processes and institutions to achieve their objectives in relation to inequalities and poverty. The course invites students to think about how social needs are identified, focused, and addressed or ignored in different settings, who can participate in these processes and who cannot, what are the historical and social determinants of these processes in different places. The course is designed to link research/theory to policy and 'practice' issues. In addition, it introduces students to various policy actors including international ones and the way in which these actors work together within specific socio-political and economic constraints. The course rigorously links theoretical analysis with empirical enquiry. It highlights the importance of identifying and understanding different value positions that underwrite policy thinking.


Lecture Outline:


1. Introduction to development and history of development, colonialism, imperialism and post-colonialism

2. Interactions between key theories of social policy and development theory

3. International Economy and Markets

4. Modernization, Dependency, and Neoliberal frameworks

5. Political and institutional actors of development (State)

6. Political and institutional actors of development (IOs)

7. Political and institutional actors of development (Aid Organizations)

8. Political and institutional actors of development (Civil Society)

9. Measuring inequality and poverty.

10. Conclusion: Challenges of addressing welfare in middle and low-income countries.


11. Poverty and Inequality in context

12. Durable Inequality

13. Gender and wellbeing

14. International Trade

15. Rural Development

16. Access to Food and Health

17. Humanitarian Crisis

18. International Aid

19. Migration

20. Conclusion


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 3 pieces of coursework in the MT and 1 essay in the LT.

Formative work in MT will be based on short commentaries (3x500 words) that will use different theoretical positions to look at the same policy problem and in the LT we'll have a formative essay (1000).

Indicative reading

Barrientos, A. & D. Hulme eds. (2008) Social Protection for the Poor and Poorest: Concepts, Policies and Politics, London: Palgrave.

Dean, H. (2006) ‘What is social policy?’ In Social Policy, Cambridge: Policy Press.

Hall A. & J. Midgley (2004), Social Policy for Development, London: Sage. (Chapter 1)

Gaventa, J. & R. McGee (2010) Citizen Action and National Policy Reform, Zed.

Gough, I. & G. Wood (2004) Insecurity and Welfare Regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America: Social Policy in Development Contexts, Cambridge University Press.

Houtzager, P. & M. Moore (2005) Changing Paths: international development and the new politics of inclusion, University of Michigan Press.

Midgley, J. and Piachaud, D. (2011) Colonialism and welfare: Social Policy and the British  Imperail legacy. UK: EE.

Midgley, J. & D. Piachaud (eds) (2013), Social Protection, Economic Growth and Social Change: Goals Issues and Trajectories in China, India, Brazil and South Africa, Edward Elgar.

Mkandawire, T. ed. (2004) Social Policy in a Development Context, Geneva: UNRISD.

Momsen, J. (2009) Gender and Development. London: Routledge.

Nussbaum, M. (2000) Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambbdrige: CUP.

Sen, A. (1999) Development as freedom. Oxford OUP.

Willies, K. (2011) Theories and practices of development. London: Routledge.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (50%, 2000 words) in the LT.

The essay will be due in the last week of LT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills