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This course introduces the main discourses, theories and practices related to the discipline of international development studies and its actors. We will first study the contentious history of the discipline which remains at times influenced by its colonial roots. This historical review will be key in appreciating how, since the end of World War II, global and regional political and economic contexts have informed the rise - and fall - of development theories and practices. Building on these historical insights, the course then turns to the politics of development aid and its actors. Here, a critical analysis of the drivers and practices for and around aid allocation will be pivotal in assessing the impact of aid on the ground. We will discuss key debates in relation to why and how governments give aid (bilateral and multilateral aid) and why, despite billions of dollars spent on international aid over time, poverty still plagues many countries across the Global South. The third part of the course turns to international private aid flows. Here we will discuss the trends and issues that arise from a proliferation of private actors in the aid industry: foundations, corporations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and broader civil society movements. Practical case studies will be utilised throughout the course, by reference to a variety of historical events, case studies of actors in the field such as the World Bank, NZAid, and Oxfam, as well as guest experts from the field.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Engaged with the community
Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 15 points at 100 level from POLS, orany 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA, orLAWS, GEOG, orthe Schedule V of the BCom.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Domestic fee $785.00
International fee $3,500.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences.