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BA Politics and Russian / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
The Politics of Development

Unit code POLI20722
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Politics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Indicative course content:
1. Crisis, Neoliberalism and Structural Adjustment
2. The Washington Consensus and development
3. Good Governance and the post-Washington Consensus
4. Trade and Development
5. Gender and Development
6. Sustainable Development
7. Failed States and Insecurity
8. Humanitarian Intervention
9. Emerging powers, BRICS and development


The course unit aims to:
This course will introduce students to the study of politics in the contemporary developing world. The course will survey current debates on key issues, such as - but not exclusively - the persistence of inequality in the global system and the international dimensions of underdevelopment and poverty. Students will be introduced to the major theoretical approaches to understanding 'development' in the contemporary world - both 'orthodox' and critical. Additional topics covered in the course include humanitarian intervention, gender, and the role of international organisations in promoting development. More general arguments will be illustrated with specific reference to case studies drawn from regions of 'the South'.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to demonstrate:
1. Understanding of the major approaches to the study of politics of development
2. Familiarity with a wide range of cases from the developing world, and be able to apply theoretical approaches to those cases
3. Understanding of the complex dynamics that produce and sustain underdevelopment.

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be taught on the basis of ten two-hour lectures and ten one-hour tutorials. Lectures include a mix of traditional lecture material, interactive question and answer sessions, small tasks in break-out groups, and videos. Tutorials will be student-led, involving group work linked to role-play, debate and simulation scenarios for a case study linked to each of the contemporary issues covered.

Assessment methods

Group Presentation 25%

Development Report 1,750 words, 25%

Essay, 3,500 words, 50%

Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission via Blackboard (if submitted through Turnitin).

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results. This applies to Semester 2 modules only. Semester one modules with no final examination will have their feedback available within the 15 working days.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor. Tutors and Course Convenors also have a dedicated office hour when you can meet with her/him to discuss course unit specific problems and questions.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Recommended reading

Burnell, P. and Randall, V (2008) Politics in the Developing World, 2nd edition, Oxford: OUP
Kiely, R. (2007) The New Political Economy of Development, Basingstoke: Palgrave
McMichael, P. (2012) Development and Change: A Global Perspective, 3rd edition, London: Pine Forge Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Japhy Wilson Unit coordinator

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