This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Dr Mahvish Shami
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 also available to students in Year 1 of the MRes/PhD in International Development, in lieu of DV501, with permission.
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 several parts: Analytical Assumptions, Government and Governance, Private Sector, and 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.
This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the MT & LT. Seminars will be at or upwards of 45 minutes duration and lectures will be at or above 60 minutes duration. There will be a revision session in early ST.
There will additionally be an introductory workshop at the start of MT. 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.
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
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 summer 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.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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.
Department: International Development
Total students 2020/21: Unavailable
Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills