From the Third World to Our Global Village - Change in International Development

Course details

From £205.00
10 CATS points

23 Apr 2019 - 25 Jun 2019
Day of week

From the Third World to Our Global Village - Change in International Development


International Development as an academic subject began as a subset of economics, but has evolved into a broader interdisciplinary field of study. This change has occurred alongside the growing challenge to the traditional role of economics as the dominant discourse for explaining and guiding societal change more generally. This will be the context for our discussion of “development" for people living in poverty, in various countries and regions. The course will review orthodox and heterodox approaches to development economics, as well as other frameworks that explain change such as institutional analysis, and the "power and systems" approach. We will define and map poverty globally, and deconstruct related terms such as inequality, globalisation, and women’s empowerment. We will review measures of development old and new. Using a wide range of country case studies, we shall examine the progress of development, and see how well the various analytical approaches seem to work to explain the process and to guide policies to promote further development that is socially just and environmentally sustainable.  

Programme details

Term Starts:   23rd April      


Week 1:          "Development" 74 years in review

Week 2:          Mapping global poverty and inequailty

Week 3:          How development happens - what we thought and what we think now

Week 4:          The Big Two: China and India

Week 5:          Ethiopia - A Tiger Economy in Africa?

Week 6:          Nigeria - African paradox?

Week 7:          Nepal and Thaliand

Week 8:          Cuba and Vietnam - parallels?

Week 9:          Problematic heavyweights - Brazil and Russia

Week 10:        Is "development"an  obsolete concept?


Background Reading List

Amaertya Sen., Development as Freedom

Ha Joon Chang., Bad Samaritans

Paul Collier., The Bottom Billion

Jeffrey Sachs., Commonwealth and/or The End of Poverty

Wiiliam Easterly., The White Man's Burden

Acemoglu and Robinson., Why Nations Fail


If you are planning to purchase books, remember that courses with too few students enrolled will be cancelled. The Department accepts no responsibility for books bought in anticipation of a course.

If you have enrolled on a course starting in the autumn, you can become a borrowing member of the Rewley House library from 1st September and we will try to ensure that as many titles as possible are available in the Library by the start of each term. If you are enrolled on a course starting in other terms, you can become a borrowing member once the previous term has ended.

Recommended reading

All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.

There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information. 

Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.

Recommended Reading List


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Course fee: £205.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00


Mr Alan Doran

Alan Doran has had a 40 year career as an economic consultant working on a variety of problems in both developed and developing countries. He has written one book, (too) many reports, and is still consulting for Oxfam.   

Course aims

To familiarise students with the concepts and analytical frameworks used to explain the process of development and to deepen their understanding by applying these to a wide range of country examples.

Course objectives

1. Show how 'development' has evolved from the simplistic and optimistic notions at Bretton Woods, via disappointing UN Decades of Development, and criticism of Aid, to today's nuanced appreciation of how difficult and rare it is for human societies to achieve sustainable poverty reduction.

2. Discuss the merits and demerits of the main explanatory frameworks for change - orthodox and herodox development economics, institutional analysis, the real economics and finances of the poor, and the power and systems approach.

3.Provide a global perspective on the problem of poverty, recent reductions, and constraints on further progress.

Teaching methods

Overall, the approach will avoid being "too close to the topic and too far from the students". In Session 1, students will be collectively engaged and encouraged from the outset by sharing their specific motivations for attending the course, and what they consider as relevant experience or expertise. There will also be a brief research exercise gathering their state of optimism or pessimism at course entry on the outlook for progress in "development" as well as their views on the relative importance of some familiar positive and negative influences. [This will be repeated at the end]. Engagement will be maintained by

1) powerpoint aided presentations that include questions to class, and allow questions from class, at regular intervals.

These will end with two or three class questions for brief written answers to test students' reception of information and ideas. Their answers will be  used in discussion as contributions to broaden and deepen understanding.

2) breakout groups (10-15 minutes) tackling questions from the current topic and reporting back.

3)Many sessions will also include short film clips, to be followed by student pairs discussing their reactions for 5 minutes and then a brief class discussion.

Students will be encouraged to make notes if they wish, but every session will have a hard copy hand-out summarising the main points.

Each session will have a basic reading list consisting of short pieces: book reviews, blog posts, book chapters, non-technical articles. While students will be encouraged to read at least some items before or after the session, none will be required to follow session material. Longer and more difficult materials will be suggested for students with time and interest to follow-up.   

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. understand why the previously dominant neoliberal approach for global poverty reduction has come under attack;

2. appreciate how economic, institutional, political, social, environmental and demographic factors interact in the development process; and

3. be able to assess the state of development and the outlook for any country using appropriate measures and analysis.

Assessment methods

The course will use Option B - a formative coursework piece of 500 words after Week 5, and a substantive essay of 1,500 words to be handed in by Week 9. The choice of questions will be wide, and students will be able to explore their own particular interests from within the course topics.   

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

No background knowledge required, but reading a popular introductory        text such as Bad Samaritans, by Ha Joon Chang would help students' orientation 

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)