Faculty of Arts


Theories of International Development


The purpose of this course is to interrogate theories of development through a close reading of scholarly texts. The aim is to work towards critically examining some of the theoretical foundations in development studies.

The course starts with historical trajectories of development beginning with colonisation and the central place given to economic growth in early development interventions. It turns a corner with the examination of economist Amartya Sen’s work in his book, Development as Freedom, and then focuses on contemporary theories of development

By the end of this semester, students should know:

  • The main theories of development
  • Key theoretical concepts in development such as colonisation, neoliberalism, poverty, development as freedom, post-development, indigenous development, the Global South
  • The importance of theory in the critical analysis of development issues

By the end of this semester, students should be able to:

  • Critically articulate the arguments found in the main theories of development
  • Write a "critical" book review
  • Research and write a "critical" essay by applying the class learnings to a particular development concern

Availability 2020

Semester 1




Sen, Amartya (1999) Development as Freedom. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press


DEVELOP 709: 15.0 points



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