Course Outline

Topics: Economic development, Development, Economics Pages: 6 (1340 words) Published: November 15, 2012



1. Introduction
Development studies is a multidisciplinary branch of social science which addresses issues of concern to developing countries. It has historically placed a particular focus on issues related to social and economic development. Its relevance may, therefore, extend to communities and regions outside of the developing world.

A development studies is offered as a specialised Master's degree in a number of universities, and, less commonly, as an undergraduate degree. It has grown in popularity as a subject of study since the early 1990s, and has been most widely taught and researched in the third world and in countries with a colonial history, such as the UK, where development studies originated (Kothari, 2007).

Students of development studies often choose careers in international organisations such as the United Nations or the World Bank, non-governmental organisations, private sector development consultancy firms, and research centres.

2. Origin
The emergence of development studies as an academic discipline in the second half of the twentieth century is in large part due to increasing concern about economic prospects for the third world after decolonisation. In the immediate post-war period, development economics, a branch of economics, arose out of previous studies in colonial economics.

By the 1960s, an increasing number of development economists felt that economics alone could not fully address issues such as political effectiveness and educational provision. Development studies arose as a result of this, initially aiming to integrate ideas of politics and economics. Since then, it has become an increasingly inter- and multi-disciplinary subject, encompassing a variety of social scientific fields (Abbott, 2003; Kothari, 2007).

In recent years, the use of political economy analysis try to assess and explain political and social factors that either enhance or limit development has become increasingly widespread as a way of explaining the success or failure of reform processes. The era of modern development is commonly deemed to have commenced with the inauguration speech of Harry S. Truman in 1949. In Point Four of his speech, with reference to Latin America and other poor nations, he said that "for the first time in history, humanity possess[ed] the knowledge and skill to relieve the suffering of these people" (Rist, 2007). However, development studies has also taken an interest in lessons of past development experiences of Western countries.

More recently, the emergence of human security (a new, people-oriented approach to understanding and addressing global security threats) has led to a growing recognition of a relationship between security and development. Human security argues that inequalities and insecurity in one state or region have consequences for global security and that it is thus in the interest of all states to address underlying development issues. This relationship with studies of human security is but one example of the interdisciplinary nature of development studies.

3. Vision
We look forward to a time when poverty will be no more and the life of an individual; especially those that are marginalized today are fulfilled in all things.

4. Overall objective
The Department of Development Studies envisions producing professionals with knowledge and skills with the aim of empowering communities find solutions to barriers to development.

5. Objectives
The vision and mission shall be accomplished using the following means: • To train students to understand that the poor are also partners in the development of the world. • To consider different methods of empowering the poor to achieve their full potential. • To help improve the lives of the individuals without compromising the lives of the future generation. • To learn from what others have done to make...

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Kothari, U. (ed), (2007), A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies - but see The Journal of Peasant Studies 34/1 for an alternative view.
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