History, Theory, and Practice of Development

Shaila Seshia Galvin
Gopalan Balachandran

DE132 | Autumn | 6ECTS

Development is both a field of practice and an object of ongoing study. This course considers development as a historically situated set of practices and theories, formed and informed by the conditions of late colonialism, decolonization, cold war, and various types of liberalism. Paying close attention to shifting institutional landscapes of development, and to continuity and change in the configuration of its actors and subjects, the course seeks to deepen our analytical understanding of contemporary development practices. Questions we will ask include: how and why did development emerge and become a goal of policy and a tool of intervention? How have development ideas, policies and practices been shaped by changing ideological or geo-/political imperatives? We will also explore how they have informed public and private interventions in two broad and key areas, i.e. agrarian transformations and labor and employment. Contemporary issues of relevance to development in these areas will be addressed through case studies prepared and presented by students.