Political Science | Politics of International Development
Y343 | 28476 | MacLean


Y343  Politics of International Development
Professor Lauren MacLean

Online Course Description:

This course explores the politics of international development.  For
over 50 years, the majority of countries in the world have been
categorized as “third world”, “less developed” or “developing”.  But,
what is “development”?  And, why after so many decades are some
countries so poor, and others so rich?  This course takes a critical
look at the problem of development and how it is practiced over time
and around the world.  We will investigate how the paradigms of
development have changed dramatically over the past several decades,
and what development policies and practices have been attempted. While
plenty of development failures receive scholarly and media attention,
we will also evaluate whether any “success” has been achieved and try
to assess carefully what we have learned from the past.  The class
will explore competing theories but always seek to connect these
theories to actual policies and lived experiences at the grassroots.
Some of the topics covered in the course include: democracy and
development; food security and famine; health, education and human
development; gender and development; globalization, indigenous rights
and development battles; and civil conflict and international
humanitarian relief. The readings will include newspaper articles,
journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports available on
e-reserve as well as two short novels.  The requirements for the
course are to attend class, do all assigned reading, participate in
class discussion and small group activities, complete short weekly
reading questions, write one paper (8-10 pages), and complete a
mid-term and final exam.  The course has no prerequisites so students
are welcomed with any or no previous knowledge of both political
science and international development.