ASOK15427U Issues in international development

Volume 2018/2019

MA Theory and Themes (MSc Curriculum 2015)

Course package (MSc 2015):
Knowledge, organisation and politics

BA-Undergraduates from foreign countries (exchange students) can sign up for this course



Despite unprecedented global economic growth during the last two centuries, the vast majority of the world’s population lives in poverty without adequate money, food, water, health care, education, and/or security. Despite countless efforts to improve livelihoods throughout the world, levels of inequality across and within nations are increasing.  Between these lines of dismay, there are also strands of hope--success stories resulting from insightful domestic policies, visionary multi-lateral aid efforts, and revolutionary grassroots movements. 



This course introduces you to the history of the study of international development, and to the current debates and issues in the field. It explore and critically evaluate the basic assumptions underlying the major competing theories and visions of international development. The course is divided into three sections.  The first section is organized around the question:  What are the causes of underdevelopment?  This section will introduce the theoretical frameworks used to explain underdevelopment throughout the world.  The second section is organized around the question:  What are the solutions to underdevelopment?  Here we will explore the practice of development since the 1950s by examining the different strategies that have been employed to alleviate underdevelopment in Latin America, South Asia, East Asia, and Africa.  Through a wide range of reading materials, movies, lectures, and in-depth discussion sections, you will be exposed to competing answers to these two questions. In the third section, we will look at global processes, including sessions on migration, gender, and security.  Using country-specific case studies, you will have the opportunity to apply the theoretical and practical frameworks learned in the first two sections to assess the successes and failures of real-life cases. In addition to providing an introduction to international development, this course is designed to build your skills in analytical and critical thinking and debate.

Learning Outcome


By the end of the course, students have

Knowledge of

  • broad theories and policies of international development from 1950 to present

Skills to

  • analytically evaluate opposing theories and policies in development studies
  • Literature search skills in consulting relevant library and internet resources


Competence to

  • apply theoretical framework and historical knowledge of practices to examine and analyse particular themes in development
  • display their critical understanding of key issues through the development of a succinct writing style (for essays), and the ability to present complex arguments in class discussions; and Use their knowledge as a basis for further study or pursuing a career in international development and international affairs.

Syllabus available upon request

Kurset vil som udgangspunkt ikke blive udbudt igen. Du kan således ikke planlægge efter, at det udbydes i senere semestre, end hvad der fremgår af denne kursusbeskrivelse.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Course Preparation
  • 97
  • Exam
  • 11
  • Exercises
  • 70
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Free written take-home essays are assignments for which students define and formulate a problem within the parameters of the course and based on an individual exam syllabus. The free written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
Exam registration requirements

Sociology students must be enrolled under MSc Curriculum 2015 to take this exam

Credit students must be at master level.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Find more information on your study page at KUnet.
Exchange students and Danish full degree guest students please see the homepage of Sociology; and


At re-exam, the form of examination is the same as ordinary exam.
If the form of examination is ”active participation” the re-examination form is always “free written take-home essay”.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see the learning outcome.