EDS389 Ruling the world by numbers: knowledge and politics in international development

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Morten Jerven

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Biannually. Not offered in 2023/2024

Nominal workload:Total 125 hours.

Teaching and exam period:August block

About this course

This course is not offered in 2023 and 2025.

The use of numbers, performance indicators and benchmarks have grown exponentially over the last two decades, particularly in the field of international politics and development. Indicators are now firmly established as a distinct mode of global governance. The process of numbering involves translating complex phenomena into numerical values. The procedure converts what might otherwise be highly contentious normative agendas into numbers that appear technocratic and objective. The politics of numbers has implications for global governance, and particularly so for making norms, rules and regulations in the fields of International Environment and Development Studies. This course provides a critical examination of the implications of ruling the world as if it counts.

Learning outcome

To be updated
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Office hours and procedures are established at the first class meeting. A course schedule is handed out at the same time
  • Relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent.
  • One term paper (5 pages) counts 30% and final written exam counts 70% of final grade. Exam and term papers must be written in English

  • Participation in lectures and seminars.
  • 6 lectures and 6 seminars.
  • M-IR
  • Relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent.