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Global Political Economy of Development

This course will provide an international and inter-disciplinary overview of the major issues surrounding development theory and practice in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The two specific objectives of the course are: (1) deepening of students’ theoretical understanding of the concept of development, as a field of global political economy; and (2) a critical assessment of the results and future prospects of economic and political development.

The students taking this optional module will learn to critically evaluate the changing nature of development and development studies as a discipline, as well as to critically examine the practice/policy and guiding principles of developmental agendas today.

The whole course is framed by a strong background in Global Political Economy (the core course in the MA) and deep historical and critical perspective on development.

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    The course's teaching consists of lectures and seminars. Seminar attendance is mandatory.

    All courses on the Department's Master's level are all held in English.

    Learning outcomes

    For a passing result on the course, the student must be able to: 

    • Demonstrate a critical and deep understanding of development as a key historical and political issue within Global Political Economy.
    • Evaluate different kinds of development strategies and agendas in place since 1945, including the theoretical and normative premises behind them.
    • Obtain deeper knowledge through case studies and discussions about the different aspects of development and apply and develop an interdisciplinary approach to development issues.
    • Understand and critically evaluate academic and policy literature related to development at the higher levels.
    • Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, including ability to evaluate advanced concepts and theories, to employ primary and secondary sources, to present reasoned and effective arguments in written and oral form, to make individual and group presentations, to pursue independent learning and to show critical judgment.


    Seminar assignments will be distributed to the students a week in advance and will cover different topics falling under the seminar theme.

    The examination will be in the form of written reports on the assignments, and a final term paper.

    Students who fail to submit their term papers by the set deadline will have another chance to re-submit (on a different topic) after 5 weeks.


    Gonzalo Pozo Martín

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Valid from 2023 and onwards

    Books (for more details, as well as articles and single chapters, see the course description):

    • Veltmeyer, Henry and Paul Bowles (eds.) (2022). The essential guide to critical development studies, London: Routledge, (Full book, Available as e-book at SU library)
    • Desai, Vandana and Robert B. Potter, eds. (2014), The Companion to Development Studies, 3rd Edition, London: Routledge. (Full book).
    • Peet, Richard and Elaine Hartwick (2015), Theories of Development: Contentions, Arguments, Alternatives, New York: Guildford Press (Full book)
  • Contact