Social & Political Issues in Development - SPY00087M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sophie MacKinder
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

·         to provide an introduction to different theoretical perspectives of development and the competing meanings that have been invested in 'development';

·         to review the different approaches to measuring levels of development and provide an introductory review of the history of the development;

·         to highlight the main concepts within the different theoretical perspectives;

·         to provide a critical understanding of the social, economic and political dimensions of development approaches;

·         to extend understanding of development theory through the exploration of key development policy issues;

·         to provide a critique of dominant development frameworks and an analysis of the different ways in which development concepts are defined, applied and prioritised;

·         to help you form a view as to what might constitute 'good' development and what might be considered a success and a failure in developmental terms.

·         to develop writing and academic integrity skills

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module you should be able to:

·         have a thorough understanding of, and be able to critique, different approaches to development and their theoretical underpinnings;

·         recognise and understand the relationship between development theory and contemporary development practice in a number of key thematic areas;

·         understand the ways in which the history of development shapes present day global economic and social change;

·         recognise and understand some of the reasons for the similarities and differences between and within developing and industrialised societies and economies; and

·         demonstrate the ability to analyse critically the material in the readings and present arguments coherently both through written assignments on-line discussions.

·         demonstrate development of writing and academic integrity skills


Task Length % of module mark
Social and Political Issues in Development
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Social and Political Issues in Development
N/A 100

Module feedback

The lead marker (the module tutor) will include comments about the content, structure, and evidence used etc. to provide you with constructive information that will enable you to improve on future work. The feedback a tutor can offer can be invaluable to your studies, so it is important you read this carefully

We aim to return your marked work to you within one month of its submission.

Feedback will be given in three ways:

(1) Comments within the actual text will highlight specific points and examples that the marker wants to draw to your attention.

(2) The marking criteria will be highlighted to show how your assignment has been rated against those criteria. This will enable you to calibrate your performance against a consistent scale, and therefore to aim to improve in specific areas.

(3) Finally the marker will provide a narrative summary in which the main points will be set out and any major areas for improvement highlighted.

Indicative reading

Banks, N., Hulme D., and Edwards, M. (2015) NGOs, States, and Donors Revisited: Still too close for comfort?', World Development, Vol. 66, pp. 707-718.


Grugel, J. and Piper, N. (2009) Do rights promote development? Global Social Policy, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 79-98.

Kothari, U. AND Minogue, M. (2002)  Critical perspectives on development: an introduction   in Kothari, U. and Minogue, M (eds), Development Theory and Practice: Critical Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave. pp. 1-16.

UNDP (2011) Summary: Sustainability and  equity: A better future for all Human Development Report 2011, available at

Woods, N. (2006) Reforming the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank    Challenge, Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 5-16.

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.