Transnational Actors, Networks, and Place Making

Course content

It is almost impossible today to imagine development at the scale of the nation-state: global flows of people, information, ideas, investments and remittances are now key determinants shaping development at local levels. Development actors are no longer just national governments. Instead, all kinds of transnational actors—from companies to diaspora groups and NGOs—play a prominent role in shaping development agendas, as do the transportation infrastructures, new mobile technologies and social media that facilitate such transnational activity. The “Global North” (North America, Western Europe, Australia and Japan) is no longer taken for granted as a source of inspiration for and funding of models of development: around the BRICS initiative, new discourses of development travel between countries in the Global South (Africa, Latin America and Asia), accompanied by new resource flows, for instance from China and India to Africa. But it is not just the world order that is affected by global flows: established patterns of development between urban centers and rural areas are also being restructured through such flows, resulting in livelihood transitions and new and intensified forms of mobility. In the context of neoliberal governance and increasing securitization, illegal flows moreover start to have a significant impact on development trajectories.


Transnational Actors, Networks and Place Making equips students with the skills to examine development beyond the nation-state, to understand how global flows affect the seeming coherence of previous models of development. It introduces students to global flows that shape development agendas and outcomes locally, with an emphasis on studying not just material but also immaterial flows of ideas, discourses, and new forms of connectivity. As a course that brings geography into conversation with anthropology, students will learn how analytical approaches that emphasize spatiality and relationality can help us understand global flows today.


MSc programme in Global Development

Learning outcome

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



  • Describe current debates about global flows of people, capital and ideas and how these are influenced by transnational networks and actors.
  • Grasp how the established pattern of development between urban centers and rural areas as well as between the Global North and South is being restructured resulting in livelihood transitions and new and intensified forms of mobility.
  • Understand and recognize the importance of changing scales and geographies of development.



  • Identify key global flows of people, capital and ideas in, to and from the Global South.
  • Be able to analyze how global flows shape development agendas and outcomes in given local environments.
  • Communicate and discuss how global flows and transnational networks and actors challenge the seeming coherence of previous models of development.
  • Assess the potential impact of global, national and local policies on global flows of people, capital and ideas in, to and from the Global South.


  • Process relevant information about global flows and their impact on outcomes in a given local environment.
  • Analyze, assess and apply results, methods, theory and data in connection with global flows of people, capital and ideas in, to and from the Global South.
  • Work effectively with cross-disciplinary problems related to transnational actors and the new technologies of connectivity on an individual basis as well as in teams.

The course will be based on a combination of lectures and interactive seminars where students contribute actively through group work, discussions, readings and oral and written presentations. Each course theme will be framed by an introductory lecture. The course will draw on relevant academic literature, including theoretical perspectives and case studies from across the Global South, as well as both quantitative and qualitative datasets.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Type of assessment details
A week before the exam the students are given a set of questions. At the actual exam the student will randomly pick one of the questions (not knowing which) and will then have 5 minutes to present their answer. After the presentation, the student will be examined based on their presentation and the syllabus for the course.
Exam registration requirements

 Full attendance at all lectures and seminars with no exceptions.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No 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 re-examination use the self service. 

Criteria for exam assessment

See 'Learning Outcome'

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 122
  • Seminar
  • 24
  • Exam Preparation
  • 40
  • 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
  • Law
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Birgit Maria Gabriele Bräuchler   (17-646b74696b76306474636777656a6e6774426370766a7471306d7730666d)

Jytte Agergaard

Saved on the 13-09-2023

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