Global Development: Theories, Facts and Current Issues

Course content

Our understanding of globalization and development are constantly evolving. Development theories and policies are adjusted, augmented and replaced as we gain new insights from observing the world. However, there is often more than one interpretation of observed facts. Therefore, it is important to have knowledge of both the facts and the diverse interpretations of these facts within and across the social science disciplines. Global Development: Theories, Facts and Current Issues integrates the concepts and perspectives of the social science disciplines to consider the major trends in modern development. The course presents the classical debates about development and globalization within the social sciences, but it also takes up current issues highlighting the significant disparity in contemporary thought. The classical debates and contemporary issues are presented and analyzed as they are understood and interpreted by anthropologists, economists and other social scientists to further discussions and our deepen our understanding of development and globalization across the social sciences.


MSc Programme in Global Development

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  • Demonstrate an overview of the leading development and globalization theories and dominant development thinking and relate this to developments in the various social science disciplines.
  • Exhibit an overview of scientific facts and controversies of the selected current development issues based on contemporary research.
  • Understand the importance of measurement and measurement problems in social science development research.


  • Select relevant theories and methods for analyzing current development issues covered in the course.
  • Present and weigh various evidence-based knowledge and theories about current development issues and offer an analysis based on a balanced reading of empirical evidence in relation to these theories.
  • Communicate and discuss theories and empirical results related to central themes outlined in class.


  • Process relevant information for analysis of current and future global development issues.
  • Evaluate, validate and disseminate evidence-based knowledge and theories about current development issues.
  • Work effectively with cross-disciplinary problems within global development on an individual basis as well as in the seminar groups.

The format of the course is a combination of lectures and group discussions. Each week there will be a lecture in which core concepts, theories and case studies are presented. Every week there will be seminars with student presentations and discussions in which the students work with data and develop cases to apply and understand the concepts and theories. Active participation in the seminar groups is a mandatory prerequisite for taking the final exam.

The course is aimed at 1st semester MSc students at the Global Development program and students that have passed a bachelor’s program in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Sociology, or Political Science.

Continuous feedback during the course

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester. At least one teacher (Rand and/or Salemink) will each week be available for “open office hours” (2 hours per week)”. The exact time for the “open office hours” will be announced at the beginning of the semester.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
Written examination (essay) + 12 hours take home exam.
The two parts of the final exam are given approximately equal weight, one combined grade. Formal requirements for written assignments and exams are described in section 4.5 in Curricula’s Common Part.

Individual assignment (It is not allowed to collaborate on the assignments with anyone)

Formal requirements for written assignments and exams are described in section 4.5 in Curricula’s Common Part.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See 'Learning Outcome'

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 130
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • Exam
  • 24
  • English
  • 210


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
See weekplan
Study Board for Global Development
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • John Rand   (9-6d726b7131756471674368667271316e7831676e)
Saved on the 07-09-2022

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