DV545      Half Unit
Research Themes in International Development

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Kate Meagher


This course is available on the MRes/PhD in International Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is available as an option for students enrolled on the MRes/PhD in International Development only.

Course content

The objectives of the course are: a) to introduce students to specialized dimensions of development which will facilitate their career paths by engaging with new issues not covered in standard courses; and/or b) to facilitate student engagement with novel dimensions of the interface between policy practice and development academe.


Students enrolled on DV545 follow an independent course of study on an approved topic. They will be matched with an adviser (any member of staff in the department who is not their primary supervisor), who will support them in producing the final research paper. There are no set lectures or seminars for this course, though students will be encouraged to make good use of the weekly lectures in the ID Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking & Practice seminar series, which feature speakers from different development organisations and research institutes.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.  This will involve a plan for the summative research paper (1500-2000 words) on which the student will receive feedback and topic approval.

Indicative reading

Boone, C. (2014). Property and political order in Africa: Land rights and the structure of politics. Cambridge University Press

Faguet, Jean-Paul (2012) Governance from below: decentralization and popular democracy in Bolivia. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, USA.

Getachew, A. (2019). Worldmaking after empire: The rise and fall of self-determination. Princeton University Press.

Kar, S. (2018). Financializing Poverty. Stanford University Press.

Keen, David (2012). Useful Enemies, Yale University Press.

Meagher, K., Mann, L., & Bolt, M. (eds.). (2016). " Making the Right Connections: Globalization, Economic Inclusion and African Workers". Routledge.

McDonald, D. A. (ed.). (2016). Making public in a privatized world: The struggle for essential services. Zed Books Ltd..

Mkandawire, T. (ed.) (2004). Social policy in a development context: Introduction. In Social policy in a development context (pp. 1-33). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Shadlen, Kenneth C (with Sebastian Hauss) (eds) (2011). Politics of Intellectual Property: Contestation over the Ownership, Use and Control of Information Edward Elgar.

Venugopal, R. (2018). Nationalism, development and ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka (Vol. 5). Cambridge University Press.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

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

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication