Course code EDS305

EDS305 Development Theory and Policy

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2015 - 2016 .

Course responsible: Ingrid Louise Peck Nyborg
Teachers: Darley Jose Kjosavik, Nadarajah Shanmugaratnam, Espen Olav Sjaastad, Jill Tove Buseth, John Andrew Mcneish
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Department of International Environment and Development Studies
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2011-2012
Preferential right:
Course contents:
Introduction to Development Studies (historical background, values and policy challenges). Exploration of selected theories and policies related to: Economic development, poverty and distribution, environment, livelihoods and health, gender, social justice and human rights. Conclusions, connections and discussion.
Learning outcome:

The course gives an introduction to Development Studies as an interdisciplinary and problem oriented study of social, political, economic and environmental dimensions of societal change. The emphasis is on development theory and policy, which is linked to practice through case studies.

Learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge:
    • Knowledge about major approaches in Development Studies in general
    • Knowledge about the major themes within development theory and policy
    • Knowledge about important topics within development theory and policy in practice, and the link between theory and empirical example
  • Skills:
    • Strengthen skills using theories and concepts in critical discussion and analysis of development policy issues.
    • Working in interdisciplinary teams
    • Searching, managing and sharing information
    • Presenting and debating themes in development policy
    • Writing as a means of learning
    • Reflection and communication in an international setting.
  • General knowledge:
    • Awareness of values and normative approaches in development including considering cultural diversity and human rights.
Learning activities:
The course employs a problem-oriented approach to development policy. Learning builds on active participation and interaction between course participants and teachers to enable sharing of diverse experiences and academic insights. Major learning methods are (i) lectures, (ii) assisted information search and management, (iii) self-directed work and individual writing, (iv) group work, (v) presentations and discussion in class.
Teaching support:

The course coordinator is responsible for literature, implementation and guidance on group and individual assignments participants will receive oral or written feedback on group presentations and on their individual writing (once). Teachers will give lectures and provide additional guidance within their subject area upon appointment, and will make valuable use of their own research to give the students deeper insights into special topics of interest.

The Noragric Library staff will assist with information search and management. Guest lecturers will address special topics.


A final list of recommended reading, including articles, text books or text book chapters, will be available at the beginning of the semester.

Text books:
Peet, Richard and Elaine Hartwick. 2009. Theories of development: Contentions, Arguments, Alternatives. London: The Guilford Press.


Kjosavik, D. J. & Vedeld, P. (2011). The Political economy of environment and development in a globalised world: exploring the frontiers: essays in honour of Nadarajah Shanmugaratnam. Trondheim


Note that some readings are used in multiple lectures. Readings are only mentioned once in the list, and not repeated. In the Course introduction "What is Development¿ we have listed both required (main) and recommended readings.



Introduction: What is development


Main reading

Chalmers Johnson (1999), The Developmental State: Odyssey of a Concept, in Woo-Cumings, Meredith (eds), The Developmental State, Cornell University Press, 1999,Meredith_The_developmental_State_Odyssey_of_a_concept.pdf,Meredith_The_developmental_State_Odyssey_of_a_concept.pdf

Cowen M. P.  & Shenton, R. W. 1996 Doctrines of Development, Routledge. Chapter 1

Kothari, U. (2005). A Radical history of development studies: individuals, institutions and ideologies. London: Zed Books. VIII, Chapter 1.

Kalle Moene and Michael Wallerstein (2006) Social Democracy as a Development Strategy," in Pranab Bardhan, Samuel Bowles and Michael Wallerstein (eds.): Globalisation and Egalitarian Redistribution, Russel Sage, 2006. 

Kalle Moene (2013) Scandinavian Equality: A Prime Example of Protection Without Protectionism, " in Joseph E. Stiglitz and Mary Kaldor (eds) The Quest for Security: Protection Without Protectionism and the Challenge of Global Governance, Columbia University Press, New York, 2013.

Öni¿, Ziya (1991) The Logic of the Developmental State, Comparative Politics, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 109-126

Peet, Richard and Elaine Hartwick. 2009. Theories of development. London: The Guilford Press

Seers, Dudley. 1977. The new meaning of development. International Development Review, no. 3: 2-7.

Sen, Amartya. 1999. Development as freedom. Oxford: Oxford University press

Shanmugaratnam, N (2001). On the meaning of Development: An exploration of the Capability Approach. Forum for Development Studies 2-2001, 263-287

Shanmugaratnam, N. (1995), State-Market relations in late development - the East Asian Experience and its relevance to developing countries, Norwegian Journal of Geography, vol. 49: 137-150

Recommended reading

Fanon, Frantz. 1990. The wretched of the earth ('Les damnés de la terre', first published in France, 1961). London: Penguin Books. (selection)

Freire, Paulo. 1970. Preface and Chapter 1. Pedagogy of the oppressed (translated by Myra Bergman Ramos). Paulo Freire, 17-51. London: Penguin Books.

UNDP 2013. Human Development Report . The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World

IDS. 2006. Reinventing development research. IDS 40th anniversary conference report (1966-2006). Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. (12p)

Seers, Dudley. 1969. The meaning of development. International Development Review XI, no. 4.

Sumner, Andrew. 2006. What is Development Studies? Development in Practice 16 (6):644-651.


Economic development, poverty and distribution


Birdsall (2009) "The Washington Consensus: assessing a damaged brand¿ Policy research working paper 5316.

Copestake, J. (2008). Wellbeing in international development: What's   new? Journal of International Development, 20, 577-597

Dobson, S. and Palfreman, S. 1999. Introduction to economics. Oxford University Press. Ch. 13-15

Duffield, M. (2007) `Introduction: Development and Surplus Life¿, CH1 1 in: Development, Security and Unending War. Polity Press: Cambridge.

Gough, I., McGregor, A. and Camfield, L. (2007) Theorizing wellbeing in international development. In Ian Gough and J.Allister McGregor (eds.) Wellbeing in developing countries. Cambridge: CUP.

Harvey, D. (2011). The enigma of capital: and the crises of capitalism. London: Profile Books. VIII, 312 s.

HDR (2014) Technical notes.

Nyborg, I. (2011). When Local Meets Global - Negotiating Rural Livelihoods in the Face of Multiple Security and Development Discourses and Approaches in Afghanistan. In Kjosavik, D. J. & Vedeld, P. (eds) The Political economy of environment and development in a globalised world: exploring the frontiers: essays in honour of Nadarajah Shanmugaratnam. Trondheim: Tapir.

Peet & Hardwick (2009) Chapter 8: Critical Modernism and Democratic Development. In Theories of Development: Contentions, Arguments, Alternatives. The Guilford Press: NY & London, Ch 2-4

UNDP 2013. Human Development Report . The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World

Rao, M S A. 1984. Conceptual problems in the study of social movements. In Social movements in India, edited by M. S. A. Rao: Manohar

Siggel, E. 2005. Development economics: a policy analysis approach. Ashgate Publishing. Ch. 1

Todaro, M. P. & Smith, D. C. (2011). Economic development. Boston: Addison-Wesley. XXVII, 801 s. pp. Ch 1, 3, 4 &5.


Environment, livelihoods and technology


Adams, W. M. 2001. Green development: Environment and sustainability in the Third World (2nd edition). New York: Routledge. (Chapter 2 and Chapter 9)

Ali, Jawad, Tor A. Benjaminsen, Ahmed A. Hammad and Øystein B. Dick. 2005. The road to deforestation. An assessment of forest loss and its causes in Basho Valley, Northern Pakistan. Global Environmental Change (15):370-380.

Baviskar, A. (2003). For a Cultural politics of Natural Resources. Economic and Political Weekly, 38 (48).

Conway, Tim, Caroline Moser, Norton Andy, and John Farrington. 2002. Rights and livelihoods approaches: Exploring policy dimensions. Natural Resource Perspectives , no. 78: 6 (Available at .

Fairhead, J., Leach, M., & Scoones, I. (2012). Green Grabbing: a new appropriation of nature?. Journal of Peasant Studies, 39(2), 237-261.

Haug, Ruth (2011). ¿In the Policy Maze of Food Dilemmas¿ In: Kjosavik, D. J. & Vedeld, P eds. The Political economy of environment and development in a globalised world: exploring the frontiers : essays in honour of Nadarajah Shanmugaratnam. Trondheim

Nyborg, I., Nawab, B., (2010) `Towards sustainable rural sanitation: the role of the university in participatory technology development in Pakistan¿ Science Vision (2010) Vol 15 (1), pp. 51-62.

Rashid, Ahmed and Laurent Elder, 2009, 'Mobile phones and development: an analysis of IDRC-supported projects,' Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, Vol. 36 (2), p. 1-16

Rao, M S A. 1984. Conceptual problems in the study of social movements. In Social movements in India, edited by M. S. A. Rao: Manohar

Tienhaara, K. (2013). Varieties of green capitalism: economy and environment in the wake of the global financial crisis. Environmental Politics, (ahead-of-print), 1-18.

Shanmugaratnam, N 2001. On the meaning of Development: An exploration of the Capability Approach. Forum for Development Studies 2-2001, 263-287

UNEP (2011). "Introduction". In: Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. Nairobi/Arendal: UNEP/GRID-Arendal.


Social justice and human rights in development


Beckman, B. (2009). Trade Unions and Popular Representation: Nigeria and South Africa Compared. In To¿rnquist, O., Webster, N. & Stokke, K. (eds) Rethinking popular representation, pp. xiii, 273 p. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chambers, R (1983) "Whose Knowledge¿. In Rural Development: Putting the Last First. Longman Scientific and Technical: New York

Chambers, R (2010) The Origins and Practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal. In International Development. Volume IV. Sage: Los Angeles, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. Pp 109-138

Chakrabaty, D (2010) Minority Histories, Subaltern Pasts. In International Development. Volume IV. Sage: Los Angeles, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC.pp277-294

Cornwall, Andrea, and Celestine Nyamu-Musembi. 2004. Putting the 'rights-based approach' to development into perspective. Third World Quarterly 25, no. 8: 1415-37.

Evelin, G. (2013). Brazil: Is 'Lulism' over? (André Singer interviewed ). Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Fick, B. J. (2009). Not just collective bargaining: The role of trade unions in creating and maintaining a democratic society WorkingUSA, 12 (2): 249-264.

Garavito, Cesár Rodríguez-Garavito (2010) Ethnicity.Gov: Global Governance, Indigenous Peoples and the Right to Prior Consultation in Social Minefields. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. Vol 18. No1. Indiana University School of Law.

Lier, D. C. (2007). Places of Work, Scales of Organising: A Review of Labour Geography. Geography Compass, 1 (4): 814-833.

McNeish, J. A (2002) Globalisation and the Reinvention of Andean Tradition: The Politics of Community and Ethnicity in Highland Bolivia. The Journal of Peasant Studies Volume 29, No ¾ April/July. Frank Cass: London & New York.

Nussbaum, Martha C. 2000. Women's capabilities and social justice. Journal of Human Development 1, no. 2: 219-47.

ODI. 1999. What can we do with a rights-based approach to development? ODI Briefing Paper 1999 (3). London: Overseas Development Institute. Available at: .

Regnskogfondet (2014). "Human rights and resource conflicts in the Amazon¿ Download here:

The Economist. (2013, September 28th). Special report on Brazil (various articles). The Economist

BSc/BA or equivalent.
Recommended prerequisites:
As the course is interdisciplinary, basic competence in both natural and social sciences is an advantage.
Mandatory activity:
Participation in group work and submission of individual assignments. An approved group project assignment is compulory (pass/fail). 80% attendance in lectures and seminars.

Exam in ENGLISH ONLY. The examination is based on a portfolio of individual writing assignments. All the assignments are mandatory. Selected assignments from the portfolio are given a grade (A-F). To pass the course, one must get a passing grade (E or better) in each of the graded assignments.

The overall grade is set in the following manner: Two smaller, individual written assignments combined count 30%. The individual term paper counts 60%. Participation and overall assessment counts 10%. Grades on the smaller individual assignments and the group project will be set during the semester. Grades on the term paper and participation/ overall assessment will be set during the exam period following the general rules.

Nominal workload:
300 hours
Entrance requirements:
Relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
The scheduled teaching time is 8 hours per week. This is tentatively distributed between 4 hours lectures 2 hours teacher-led discussion or student presentations in class min 2 hours of work in groups. This is subject to variation, for example when guest lectures or other special events take place.
An external examiner participates in the evaluation of the term paper.
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått