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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title International Development Practice
Module Code LG517
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Niamh Gaynor
Semester 2: Niamh Gaynor
Autumn: Niamh Gaynor
Module TeachersWalt Kilroy
Iain McMenamin
Niamh Gaynor
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The relationship between the rich North and the developing South is a major issue in today’s world. This issue has implications beyond economic development and human security, spilling over into questions of equity, resource access and distribution, and environmental sustainability. The aim of this module is to examine the ways in which this issue has been debated and deliberated upon, among actors North and South, to introduce students to the principal theoretical perspectives within development studies, and to examine how these feed into development programming and practice. The module analyses the key phases in thinking on international development from the 1950s to the present day. This provides a framework in which to examine contemporary approaches to the subject including sustainable development, gender and development and participatory approaches to development. Recognising that theory and practice stand in a dialectical relationship to one another (namely that theory grows and changes through reflection on practice and that good practice is always guided by theoretical presuppositions), the course relates theoretical developments and changes in the academic study of development to the main events and movements that have shaped global development over the past sixty years.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically assess and discuss key theories and strategies of development including modernisation and dependency theories, post-development, sustainable development, gender and development, and participation.
2. Analyse the role of different political actors in development in a variety of contexts and from different theoretical perspectives.
3. Engage with these theoretical debates in the context of specific case studies from different countries and contexts.
4. Communicate independent research and reading orally in groups, in written form, and engage in class debates on relevant topics
5. Reflect on the usefulness of development as a socio-political concpet and as a discrete unit of study.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture11No Description
Seminars11No Description
Independent Study228No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction and review
This section provides an overview of the course introducing some of the key concepts and debates within development.

Macro-theories of development
This section traces evolutions in development theory from the end of WWII onwards. It includes analyses and variants of modernisation, dependendency and post-development theories.

Strategies of development
Moving from the 'grand' macro-level theories to the distinct approaches and strategies to development on the ground which characterised the period from the 1970s onwards, this section covers approaches such as gender and development, sustainable development and participation.

Contemporary issues in development
This section moves to current debates and trends within development theory, policy and practice. In the context of shifting global geo-political relations together with the financial crisis, it includes analyses of what comes next after the MDGs, and how/if climate change is being tackled within current development research, theory and policy.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayEssay40%Week 7
EssayEssay60%Week 12
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Sumner, A. and M. Tribe: 2008, International Development Studies: Theories and Methods in Research and Practice, Sage, London and California.,
  • Willis, K.: 2005, Theories and Practices of Development, Routledge, Oxford and New York.,
  • Chari S. and S. Corbridge (eds.): 2008, The Development Reader, Routledge, Oxford and New York,
  • Kothari, U. (ed.): 2005, A Radical History of Development Studies, Zed Books, London and New York.,
  • Kothari, U. and M. Minogue (eds.): 2002, Development Theory and Practice: Critical Perspectives, Palgrave, Basingstoke.,
  • Payne, A.: 2005, The Global Politics of Unequal Development, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.,
  • Rapley, J.: 1996, Understanding Development: Theory and Practice in the Third World, Lynne Rienner.,
  • Schuurman, F. S. (ed.): 1996, Beyond the impasse: New directions in development theory, Zed Books, London and New York, second edition.,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
IMSISSIntnl. Master Security Intelligence
MARIMA in Refugee Integration
MIRMA in International Relations
MISCMA in International Security & Conflict
Date of Last Revision30-SEP-09

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