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 analysed as they are understood and interpreted by anthropologists, economists and other social scientists to further discussions and a deeper 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:



  • Describe the leading development and globalization theories and dominant development thinking and relate this to developments in the various social science disciplines.
  • Show 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 analyses of the current development issues covered in the course.
  • Select relevant theories and methods for analyzing development issues that are similar to the current issues covered in the course.
  • Communicate and discuss evidence-based knowledge and theories about current development issues on different levels to researchers, policy makers, media, organizations, and laypersons.



  • 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 teams.

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.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
12 hours written take-home exam.

Individual assignment.

Formal requirements for written assignments and exams are described in the exam section of the Curricula’s Common Part.”
Exam registration requirements

Active participation in the seminar groups is a mandatory prerequisite for taking the final exam.
Active participation includes:
(i) class presentations,
(ii) peer feedback on other student presentations,
(iii) peer feedback on group assignments and
(iv) submission and approval of 6-7 required seminar assignments. Assessment of active participation is done by course teachers.


All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

If you fail an examination, you will be allowed two more attempts to pass the relevant course. The first re-examination will typically be scheduled immediately following the semester (February/August). The second re-examination will typically be scheduled in the following exam period.

If you need to sign up for the re-examination use the self service

Criteria for exam assessment

See 'Learning Outcome'

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 150
  • Seminar
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 12
  • English
  • 210


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
See weekplan
Study Board for Global Development
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • John Rand   (9-6e736c7232766572684469677372326f7932686f)

Matti Weisdorf

Saved on the 24-10-2023

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