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Political Economy of Development

Code KD601
Module Status Mandatory
Facilitator Patrick Marren
Duration 30 hours
Credits 5


Module Aims

The core aim is to develop learners’ understanding of the basic drivers around growth, inequality and sustainability within development on both a global level and also in the context of their own society.

Module Objectives

  • To explore the interconnections between economics, politics and the environment in the context of development policy and practice.
  • To reflect on the notions of inequality and on its policy and social implications with respective to development.
  • The examine the roles and influence of the Multilateral International Financial Institutions and the World Trade Organisations in shaping the global development agenda, and debates around their representativeness
  • Review aid typology, donor trends, and current debates on aid effectiveness
  • To analyse the positive and negatives associated with the use of natural resources in development.
  • To understand the shifting economic and political shape of development, the influence of China and the rise of the left in Latin America, along with a look at the development alternatives to economic growth.

Module Learning Outcomes

Participants at the end of the programme should have an understanding of:

  • The interconnections between growth models, economics and political ideologies, and the debates around the relative effectiveness and inefficiencies of market-led and state-led development models.
  • Current aid models, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and debates around the post 2015 development agenda.
  • The concept of governance and its interpretations within the context of development, and the background and ideology of current development theories, economics models and their associated policies.
  • The factors that influence global policy development and the institutions that oversee such issues as trade, investment and aid, and the political and economic implications of the rapid economic progress in China, India and Brazil.

Module outline

The Economic and Political Background to Development

  • Economics and Development
  • Politics and Development
  • Measuring and Mismeasuring Development
  • The United Nations (UN) Millennium Project
  • Primary Drivers of Development
  • Free Market versus State Based Models of Development
  • Inequality and Development
  • Aid and Debt
  • Development Traps: History, Geography and Institutions
  • The Roles of Multilateral Development Institutions in Development
  • The Shifting Economic and Political Shape of the World
  • Africa in the 21st Century: Many countries, many possibilities
  • The Political Economy of the Future


Details of assessment and up to date reading lists for this module will be made available to learners following enrolment.

Please note that this description is subject to change.



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