Development and Social Change

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHE2ED1024

To which offered: (I/ III/ V) I semester

Course Title: Development and Social Change

Credits: 4 Credits

Course Code (new): SHE2ED102

Course Type of: Compulsory yes Cohort MAED

Course Coordinator and Team Prof. Asmita Kabra (CC), Budhaditya Das

Email of course coordinator: asmita[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Course Description:

The course will seek answers to some key questions about the world we live in: What is ‘development’, and how can it be measured? What is ‘underdevelopment’? Have these ideas and concepts changed over time? Why are some countries or regions so rich, and others so poor? What is the role of the state, the market and civil society in achieving ‘development’? What are the new challenges of development in the 21st century? In doing so, the course aims to integrate the concepts and perspectives of a range of social science disciplines to demonstrate how they can usefully be combined to further understanding of problems of development and social change.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will have a well-rounded understanding of key theories that have informed the idea of development. They will be informed about the diverse experiences of development in different parts of the world. They will understand of some of the most significant debates about sustainable development. They will also be able to examine the concept of development more critically in the context of the changed geopolitics of the 21st century. They will be able to ask additional questions like: Who decides what is development, for whom, and with what consequences? They will be able to understand the intricate links between economic growth and development on the one hand and poverty, inequality and environmental degradation on the other.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Read, comprehend and analyse complex texts pertaining to economic development in the global South
  2. Critically analyse development discourses from different social science disciplines like economics, sociology and political science
  3. Understand the role of power and politics in the pursuit of sustainable development
  4. Understand real world development problems through country case studies
  5. Analyse and synthesise sustainable development data from a variety of sources like the UN, World Bank etc.
  6. Critically evaluate ideas, evidence and experiences of development issues and challenges in different countries from an open-minded and reasoned perspective
  7. Learn about diverse values and beliefs about development from multiple cultures and with a global perspective
  8. Pursue careful field-based enquiry into the ‘big questions’ of justice, well-being and sustainability =in local, empirical contexts
  9. Identify sources of data and information to pursue lifelong, self-directed learning about issues and debates on sustainable development

Course Outline

S. No.


Unit I

The history of development


What is development – Issues of definition and measurement


Colonial, capitalism and development


Industrialization and nationalist growth


International relations and nationalist development


Globalization and development: the early decades


Structural adjustment, the Washington Consensus and beyond

Unit II

Development Debates and Challenges in the 21st century


Development, inclusion and social justice


Development and sustainability


Beyond development? Alternative imaginations


The anti-development and post-development critiques


Rejecting Development: New social movements


The everyday realities of development


Course Organization and Teaching

This course consists of five hours of face to face interactions each week, including classroom lectures, guided readings, group work and tutorials. Lectures will be interactive and will allow for intensive class participation and discussion. Outline notes for each lecture, as well as additional study material will be posted to students on Google Classroom.

Reading List

Core text books:

  1. Chang, Ha Joon (ed.) Rethinking Development Economics London: Anthem Press.
  2. McMichael, Philip (2007) Development and Social Change Pine Forge Press.
  3. Reinert, Eric (2008). How Rich Countries Got Rich . . . and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor. London, Constable and Robinson Ltd.
  4. Rich, B. (2013). Foreclosing the future: The World Bank and the Politics of Environmental Destruction. Washington D.C.: Island Press.

Key readings:

  1. Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet (2009). Everyday politics in peasant societies (and ours), The Journal of Peasant Studies, 36:1, 227-243.
  2. Carson, R. 1962. Silent Spring. Crest Books, New York. (excerpts)
  3. Doyle, T and D. McEachern (2007). Environment and Politics. Routledge (excerpts)
  4. Ferguson, James. 2006. The Anti-Politics Machine. In Aradhana Sharma and Akhil Gupta (Eds.). The Anthropology of the State: A Reader, London: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 270—286.
  5. Jong-Il You. 2002. The Bretton Woods Institutions: Evolution, Reform and Change. Chapter 8 in Deepak Nayyar (ed.) “Governing Globalization”. New Delhi, Oxford University Press.
  6. Rodrik, Dani. 2006. “Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Bank’s Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform”. Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. XLIV (December 2006), pp. 973–987.
  7. Rodrik, Dani. The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy. W.W. Norton, New York and London, 2011.Chapter 3.
  8. Saith, Ashwani. Goals set for the Poor, Goalposts set by the Rich. IIAS Newsletter. Autumn 2007.

Other Resources

  • Website:
  • A variety of journal papers, films, blogs and other resource material will be made available online during the course transaction


There will be 3 types of assessments during the course:






Participation in classroom activities






Term paper and presentation