The Master of International Development engages you with the contemporary challenges of addressing poverty and inequality globally through an emphasis on empirical evidence, real-world case studies, and debates. You will develop the knowledge and skills to approach practical and policy challenges in a wide range of contexts by drawing on expertise from development geographers, political scientists, resource economists and development practitioners. Specialisations in either Development in Practice, Economics of Development or Politics of Development are unique and provide you with both focus and flexibility.
This course aims to provide students with a grounding in international development concepts, theories and approaches. Students are equipped with the analytical and practical skills they need to engage critically in development issues and debates from an interdisciplinary perspective, and to work across broad areas of development policy, research and practice. The course begins with foundation units in development theory and case studies of development practice, before you choose a specialisation in one of three areas, including Development in Practice; Politics of Development; and Economics of Development.
Development in Practice
This specialisation uses place and scale, and the relationships between human populations and their physical environments, as key frameworks for understanding the various dimensions of poverty, inequality and uneven development, as well as techniques and approaches for addressing these challenges. Units in this specialisation explore key contemporary development debates regarding the role of place, power, and practices in development approaches; the challenge of explosive global population growth; the development implications of ‘displaced peoples’; increasing socioeconomic polarisation within and between populations; the role of ecosystems and conflicts around natural resources that affect local and regional development; and the spatially and socially uneven development in the context of major resource extraction projects. This specialisation also introduces you to a suite of tools and frameworks employed by development practitioners at local and regional scales, such as participatory development and rural appraisals.
Politics of Development
This specialisation uses social theory to analyse and interpret the geopolitical dimensions of development. You will gain an understanding of the key conceptual, historical and policy issues surrounding development. This specialisation considers the changing role of states, markets, firms, institutions and non-governmental organisations in the process of negotiating and implementing development policy. It also introduces you to a range of approaches and frameworks employed by policymakers and practitioners in designing, implementing, and evaluating development policy. You will explore issues such as the role of gender in development; the origin and impact of ‘good governance’ agendas; the politics of aid programing and foreign policy; the historical and contemporary relationship between security and development, particularly in Africa; and the development dimensions of natural resource governance.
Economics of Development
This specialisation provides you with the tools of economic analysis to address challenges in developing countries with a focus on agriculture, environment and rural development. You will understand what can be done to promote development through multiple interventions, and how to analyse the economic, social and environmental impacts of specific initiatives. You will learn how to conduct development analyses, such as poverty assessments and environmental impact assessments, commonly used by development agencies and policy makers. You will explore themes such as the relationship between economic growth and development; the role of trade and foreign aid in development; the effectiveness of microfinance and rural credit schemes in poverty alleviation; measuring risk and vulnerability in developing contexts; global food systems and agricultural development; and institutional and market failure.
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