1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
DVST3002 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
2 topics at second or third year undergraduate level.
Topic description

The topic provides an overview of the main theoretical and ideological perspectives which have shaped the study of development since the 1950s. This is a story of twists and turns in development thinking during which the pendulum has swung from state-led models of development to market-led neoliberal approaches. Policy approaches to development are underpinned by concepts of modernization and dependency, inequality and empowerment. Critiques of development have been articulated through the prisms of poststructuralism and postcolonial critique. The apparent failure of dominant models of development are analysed in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and the changing configurations of poverty and inequality at the end of the 2000s. These ideas and approaches will be applied to case studies and countries.

Educational aims

This topic aims to introduce students to:

  • The main theoretical and ideological perspectives which have shaped the study of development since the 1950s, including key concepts underpinning approaches to development such as modernization and dependency, inequality and empowerment
  • The critical perspectives on mainstream development which have questioned underlying assumptions and provided pathways for alternative development approaches
  • Ways of applying and understanding these theoretical and ideological perspectives through case studies and country examples
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with the main approaches to development and their strengths and weaknesses
  2. Recognise ideological and theoretical assumptions underpinnning approaches to development problems and policies
  3. Apply these approaches to contemporary policies, case studies and development problems

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.