Theories of development

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This course starts with the fundamentals --what is economic growth, what is development, and what is the relationship between these two concepts? The course examines orthodox theories of growth grounded in different schools of economics (classical, neoclassical, Keynesian, neoliberal) before considering critical alternatives (Marxist, socialist, poststructuralist, and feminist). The course aims to elucidate the basic ideas that underpin contemporary controversies and debates surrounding economic growth, environmental crisis, and global inequality. It highlights points of contention among the various theories, links them to historical and current world events, and works toward envisioning a form of development that makes life better for all.

  1. Introduction: Growth versus Development.
  2. Classical and Neoclassical Economics.
  3. From Keynesian Economics to Neoliberalism.
  4. Development as Modernization.
  5. Marxism, Socialism, and Development.
  6. Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism, and Postdevelopmentalism.
  7. Feminist Theories of Development.
  8. Critical Modernism and Democratic Development.
Indicative reading: 
  • Peet, R., & Hartwick, E. (2015). Theories of development: contentions, arguments, alternatives. Guilford Publications.
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