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PLT2470 - Politics of Development

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: TBA


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit works from the premise that in order to grasp and cope with the problems of development and change in poor countries, it is important to be strongly aware of their political dimensions. Thus it considers development issues in relation to such questions as: What ideologies are involved? What interests are at stake? Who has political power, and how is it used? What are the interacting roles of the state, elites and classes in development? In dealing with these questions the unit ranges across the major conservative, liberal and radical traditions in postwar development theory, and seeks to relate movements in ideas to their real-world context.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the significance of the problem of world poverty.
  2. Understand in an historically informed way some of the major theoretical approaches, both diagnostic and prescriptive, to the problem of world poverty, with special reference to the political dimensions of these theories.
  3. Understand the ways in which policies to combat world poverty have been applied and with what degree of success, again with particular reference to the politics of these endeavours.
  4. Be able to engage in reasoned analysis and debate on the numerous contested issues in this field.
  5. Question and adopt a constructively critical attitude towards both diagnostic and prescriptive endeavours in relation to development problems generally.


Essay (2000 words): 40%
Oral tutorial presentation: 10%
Examination (2 hours): 50%

Contact hours

3 hours (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


A first-year sequence in Politics or permission.


COS2570, COS3570, PLT3470