What you will study
This module builds upon the conceptual framework and development issues that you encountered in either Global development in practice (D890) or Understanding global development (DD870).
The learning resources in this module will let you apply the key theories and approaches you learned previously to critically and creatively engage with the key challenges (conflict, governance, justice, and transformation) that cut across all development issues.
The module is divided into an introductory block (mapping out themes, approaches, and skills) and four main blocks that build on one another to deepen your learning as you progress through the module as follows:
Block 1 introduces you to the ways in which conflict, governance, justice, and transformation can be seen as ‘challenges’ in studying global development and how they relate to migration as a global development issue.
Block 2 engages you to evaluate the main theoretical approaches to conflict, examining its drivers and impacts upon development issues. You’ll learn why conflict is considered a key challenge in understanding and addressing global development issues. You’ll also consider how conflict is inherent to development processes. This widens the scope of conflict to include factors such as social hierarchies, access to and control over resources, inequalities, deprivation, and discrimination, as well as historically unresolved conflicts.
Block 3 takes up the challenge of governance, referring to systems for managing collective action problems, for allocating and exercising authority, and for distributing resources within and between societies. Within global development scholarship and practice, much attention has been devoted to getting governance ‘right’ as a way of bringing about development. However, this raises some difficult questions, such as who is empowered by prevailing governance arrangements and who is not? Thus, governance is also often a focus of contestation and conflict.
Block 4 introduces the challenge of justice as it is central to all debates about global development. You’ll discover it’s importance in the impact of systemic inequalities on development, and in terms of building just institutions and public action. In the enquiry weeks that follow, you’ll examine how justice intersects with a development issue of your choice.
Block 5 examines transformation as both a way of framing ‘good change’ as well as historical transitions of one kind or another. As transformation conceptually guides large-scale visions of development, such as the SDGs and other features of the 2030 Agenda, you’ll be introduced to competing understandings of transformation that produce competing visions of development.
Each block features ‘exploration weeks’ that provide you with greater scope to investigate global development issues that are of particular interest and relevance to you. You’ll learn essential skills of independent enquiry, whilst exploring how each challenge intersects with the development issue of your choice. Enhancing your study skills and investigative capacities will be beneficial to your academic and professional aspirations, equipping you to join a cohort of development scholars and practitioners around the world.
This module is an essential step in preparing you academically for the dissertation module, Researching global development (DD872), if you intend to complete our MSc in Global Development.