AIS5001 - Theories and Approaches in Development Studies

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Asian and International Studies
Credit Units
Course Duration
One semester
Course Offering Term*:
Semester A 2021/22

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

Questions around why some countries develop in particular ways and why others do not have long preoccupied philosophers, academics, policy makers, non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers, activists and the general public. Despite the efforts of states and multilateral organisations such as the World Bank, and despite too the celebration of growth in ‘emerging markets’ and the ‘rise of Asia’, almost half of the world’s population continues to live on less than $2.50 a day, with Asia home to the largest numbers of the world’s poor. Persistent and, indeed, deepening material inequality in the face of massive technological advancement and conspicuous wealth is also common, with more than 80 per cent of the world living in countries where income differentials are increasing. Moreover, nation states often seem unable to provide economic security and material improvement to their populations in ways that some once did. In this course, students will identify dominant approaches and theories of development through lectures, discussions and simulation exercises. Students will also apply development theory to critically evaluate key development models promoted by states, multilateral organisations, activists and NGOs. The course will provide students with the conceptual tools required to understand and discuss pivotal contemporary development issues and, importantly, the politics of development. The course would be of general use to those wishing to work in the public and private sectors, civil society, multilateral organisations, journalism and/or those generally wanting to understand the world and make a difference.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


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Department of Asian and International Studies