Not available in 2022/23
DV463      Half Unit
Civil society, security and development

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jude Howell


This course is available on the MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Health and International Development and MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course is an advanced seminar organised around guided critical, in-depth reading and discussion of theories, concepts and empirical manifestations of civil society in relation to international development and security. The building-blocks of the course extend over 7 weeks, with 3 weeks devoted to case-material presentations related to broad thematic questions.

The presentations in the three weeks may provide a basis for the long assessed essay.

The broad content of the course is as follows:

• Week 1:     Introduction to course; introduction to key theories, history and concepts of civil society

• Week 2:     Civil society, welfare and democratisation.

• Week 3:     Civil society, security and violence

• Week 4:     Civil society and securitization: terrorism and counter-terrorism

• Week 5:     International donors, aid and security

• Week 6:     Reading Week

• Week 7:     Authoritarianism, security and civil society

• Week 8:     Student case-study presentations

• Week 9:     Student case-study presentations

• Week 10:   Student case-study presentations

• Week 11:   Critical perspectives on civil society


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Each weekly seminar session is 2 hours. This comprises an overview of the week's topic by the seminar convenor and then detailed guided reading and discussion.

There will be 2 hour essay session in week 11.

There will be a reading week in Week 6. 

Formative coursework

Students may submit a formative essay of 1,000 words, excluding references, by Friday, 12 noon, Week 5. The purpose of the formative essay is to identify core issues for each student in the devising and structuring of essay, framing of argument, development of concepts and use of references. The student will receive written feedback within 3 weeks and can discuss feedback in office hours.

Indicative reading

  • Howell and Lind, 2010, Counter-terrorism, Aid and Civil Society, Palgrave, Basingstoke
  • Chambers, S. and W. Kymlicka (eds) 2002, Alternative Conception of Civil Society. Princeton University Press: Princeton
  • Evans, A.B., L.A. Henry and L.M. Sundstrom (eds) 2006, Russian Civil Scoiety. A Critical Assessment, M.E. Sharpe, New York.
  • Hann, C. and E. Dunn (eds), 1996, Challenging Western Models, Routledge, London.
  • Keane, J., 1998, Civil Society: Old Images, New Visions, Stanford University Press, Stanford.

Two to four essential readings will be given for each weekly session. A full reading-list will be provided for the course.

The items below provide some general reading before the course starts.

  • Brooker, Paul. (2000). Non-Democratic Regimes. Theory, Government and Politics. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd.
  • Cassani, A. (2017). `Social services to claim legitimacy: Comparing autocracies’ performance’. Journal of Contemporary Politics, 23 (2): 348-362.
  • Cohen, Jean and Arato, Andrew, 1992, Civil Society and Political Theory, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press
  • Gandhi, J. and A. Przeworksi. (2007). `Authoritarian institutions and the survival of autocrats’. Comparative Political Studies, volume 40, number 11, November: 1279-1301.
  • Gough, Ian and Geoff Wood et al, 2004, Insecurity and Welfare Regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Social Policy in Development Contexts, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Howell, J. and Jeremy Lind, 2010, Counter-terrorism, Aid and Civil Society: Before and After the War on Terror, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Howell, J. and Jeremy Lind, 2010, Counter-terrorism, Aid and Civil Society: Before and After the War on Terror, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Huntington, S. P. (1991). The Third Wave: Democratisation in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Mazepus, H., W. Veenendall, A. McCarthy-
  • Jones and J.M.T. Vasquez. (2016). `A comparative study of legitimation strategies in hybrid regimes’. Policy Studies, volume 37, number 4: 350-369.
  • Keane, Jonathan, 1998, `Despotism and Democracy’, pp 35-72 in John Keane (1998), Civil Society and the State. New European Perspectives, Verso/University of Westminster Press.


Essay (70%, 4000 words) in the LT Week 2.
Presentation (30%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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