International development

Development and the State

Module code: L2128
Level 5
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This module is concerned with the role of the state in development. It considers this subject matter theoretically (that is by exploring debates in state theory, and on the relationship between the state and development), empirically (by investigating a range of historical and contemporary state forms, and the impacts of these state forms on processes of development) and normatively (by posing questions about what the nature and role of the state should ideally be).

The module examines the main theoretical approaches to the state and historical state forms and their attendant development experiences, in the North and in the post-colonial South. Finally, the module moves to Development since the 1980s, exploring the impacts of state failure, neo-liberalism, democratisation and global governance on state forms and patterns of development.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the different theoretical perspectives which have been used to explain, interpret and evaluate the place of the state in development
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the development experiences and trajectories of a range of different states and state forms
  • Formulate academically informed opinions about the relationship between the state and development