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Development Paradigms - POL00064H

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  • Department: Politics and International Relations
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Louise Haagh
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module looks at what are tools of comparative political economy of development and paradigmatic cases that have inspired core theories, and which illustrate key problems, such as the constitution of effective states, the civic realm, and the sequencing of economic development and democratization. Covering key development sequences or cases in Western Europe, East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin  America, the module also looks at key contemporary issues in the democratisation of development, including work, human development, anti-poverty policy and the constitution of welfare states in development

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

The module aims to provide a critical take on modern development history and politics by giving students a grasp of the interplay between development paradigms and political economy, focusing on key theories, cases and topical policy themes. The module develops the skill of comparative and counterfactual reasoning in approaching the study of development paradigms, processes and problems. Students are challenged to understand how conceiving of development in political terms critically engages conventional theories of development, as well as the North-South divide in development studies. To that end, a comparative approach based in case studies is used to explore intersections between development experience at the national level and the global development paradigms. The module provides a multi-level perspective on development politics to help students grasp how ideational, political and institutional change at different levels interact. The module covers the comparative development perspective, theories of the state and institutions in development, and core approaches to development including developmentalism, neo-liberalism and human development, in the context of core case studies, followed by focus on key development policy debates, including the problem of work, income security and poverty, and citizenship and inequality.

Module learning outcomes

Students will gain comprehensive knowledge of the politics of development processes and problems and will be exposed to specialist reading on the topic. Student will learn how to use compare-and-contrast of key cases to test empirical and theoretical claims in core literatures. Students will learn to engage independently with some of the dominant political development theories, and through empirics testing and counterfactual reasoning test those critically. Students will use their comparative and historical knowledge to engage contemporary development policy problems independently. Students will learn to develop independent hypotheses or/and research questions concerning topical development challenges. They will learn to critically engage contemporary debates, using and referring to and interpreting contemporary media, blogs and discursive texts, as well as present their own take critically orally, through opinion pieces, as well as through using the conventional academic apparatus.

Module content

Week 2: Development Paradigms and The Contemporary Political Economy of Development

Week 3: Developmentalism and the Developmental States

Week 4: State-led Catch-up Capitalism: South Korea and China

Week 5: Neo-liberalism and Inequality: Latin America

Week 6: Politics of State Formation: The State, The Civic and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Week 7: Democratization and Human Development

Week 8: Work, Poverty and Economic Citizenship in Development

Week 9: Welfare States in Development


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment.  They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 20 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend.  They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Payne, A. and Philips, N. 2009, Cambridge: Polity Press

Sen. A. 1998, Development as Freedom, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Drydyk, J and (Eds), 2018, Keleher, L. Handbook of Development Ethics, London: Routledge.

Chang, Ha-Joon, 2008, Bad Samaritans, London: Random House

Chang, Ha-Joon, 2011, Twenty-Three Things they Don’t Tell you About Capitalism, Pengion Books

Kananen, J., 2014, The Nordic Welfare Stat ein Three Eras, From Emancipation to Discipline, Aldershot: Ashgate

Stiglitz. J., 2017 edition (2002), Globalisation and its Discontents, London: Penguin

Stiglitz, J. 2013, The Price of Inequality, London: Penguin

Woo-Cummings, M. 1999, The Developmental State, Ithaca: Cornell University Press

Haagh, L. 2019, Public Ownership within Varieties of Capitalism: Regulatory Foundations for Welfare and Freedom, in Stuart White and Angela Cummine (Eds), Special Issue on Public Ownership in the Twenty-First Century, in press

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.