Fall 2013

Development Aid in Practice

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-342

Moodle site: Course


Peter Uvin (Section 01)


[CP] [SC - starting with the Class of 2015] The rich countries of the world annually give more than $100 billion in aid to promote social and economic change in the developing world--a type of planned social change that has come to be known as "development."  But this is not only the preserve of big bilateral and UN agencies. Every year, millions of citizens in both rich countries and poor countries give money to NGOs that aid the poor and "do development"--they seek to empower women, protect the environment, provide microcredit, educate children, promote democracy, increase farmers' incomes, etc. Development is one of the great projects of our modern world, and millions of people are active in it, whether as volunteers or professionals.  This course analyzes the operational and professional world of development. It aims to analyze the policy and operational debates ongoing in the development world as a profession, an institution, a community of like-minded people. We will study what it is development professionals do when they provide development aid. We will look at the concrete aims, tools, practices, and institutions of development and subject all this to serious social science analysis. The course uses readings from political science, anthropology, history, and institutional economics to analyze these practices and aims. In so doing, the course will end up questioning many of the received wisdoms about the development world, and hopefully prepare those of you who are concerned by the continued existence of mass deprivation in a world of plenty with appropriate tools to carve out your own path.

Fall semester. Professor Uvin.

Cost: 25.00 ?


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013