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MPhil Module Choices


*The papers below are confirmed papers for 2019-20 study, incoming students will be made aware of any changes to papers before they commence the MPhil*

 *Paper 3 will not be offered in 2020/21*

Selecting Modules for the MPhil Programme

We currently offer fifteen modules, or 'papers' in our MPhil Programme.

Out of the four full papers you are required to choose for the MPhil, two must be core papers from the list below.

You will choose the other two papers from the remaining core papers or from the list of optional papers and half papers (two half papers make up one full paper).

Examples of paper choices:

  • Paper 1, Paper 3, Paper 15, Paper 900 and Paper 340
  • Paper 1, Paper 2, Paper 4, Paper 400
  • Paper 2, Paper 3, Paper 4, Paper 14, Paper 370

There is also a selection of 'borrowed' papers from other Centres or Departments which you may choose in place of the optional papers we offer. Permission must be granted prior to confirmation of selection, and some papers may be subject to prerequisites.

MPhil Core Papers 

MPhil Optional Papers

Although there may be some variation from year to year, the following have been offered in recent years or will be offered in 2019-2020:

Full Papers

Half Papers (two half papers make one full paper)

All half papers must be taken with another half paper to make the equivelent of one full paper. Some papers may be subject to prerequisites.


Core Papers

Paper 1: Development Economics

Co-ordinator: Dr Ha-Joon Chang

Reflecting the nature of the subject, this course covers a wide range of issues, from intellectual property rights to labour standards, from international trade agreements to poverty, and from global financial crisis to micro-finance, to just name a few. In order to do justice to such diverse issues, the course is taught by several individuals with different expertise and in three different formats - lectures, discussion classes, an un-assessed essay.

Assessment is by means of one 4000-word essay and one two-hour examination.

Indicative reading:

  • Chang, H.-J., Kicking away the ladder: development strategy in historical perspective, Anthem Press, 2002.
  • Chang, H.-J., (ed.), Rethinking development economics, Anthem Press, 2003.
  • Kozul-Wright, R. & Rayment, P., The Resistible Rise of Market Fundamentalism, Zed Press, 2007.
  • Stiglitz, J.E., Making Globlization Work, Allen Lane, 2006.
  • Wolf, M., Why Globalization Works, Yale University Press, 2004.



Paper 2: Institutions and Development

Co-ordinators: Dr Shailaja Fennell and Dr Jane Lichtenstein

This paper explores the role of institutions as formal and informal rules in social, economic and environmental aspects of development at multiple scales. It places people at the centre of development and examines the relationship between the individual and collective; private and public.

Lectures are structured around core theme of State and Markets using the key concepts of transaction and transition costs in the Michaelmas term; and the theme of Common Pool Resources and Rural Development using the key concepts of collective action and institutional design in the Lent term.

Assessment is by means of one 4000-word essay and one two-hour examination.

Indicative reading:

  • Fennell, S. 2010. Rules, Rubrics and Riches: the interrelationship between the legal reform and international development, Routledge.
  • Hodgson, G.M. (1993). Institutional Economics: Surveying the ‘Old’ and the ‘New’. Metroeconomica, 44: 1, pp.1-28. 
  • North, D.C., 1990. Institutions, institutional change & economic performance, CUP.
  • Polanyi, K, (1944) 2001, The Great Transformation, The Political and Economic Origins of our time, Beacon press, Boston, 2001 edition


Paper 3: Sociology and Politics of Development

Co-ordinator: Dr Maha Abdelrahman and Dr Graham Denyer Willis

This paper deals with the configuration, practice and politics of power, broadly defined. It explores the social and political contexts of development theory, the kinds of empirical problems that tend to matter for policy and efforts to ‘practice development’. The paper move critically towards a central objective to fruitfully bringing together canonical debates about the dilemmas of development, with critical assessment of the assumptions of who should benefit - and who might not - from development, broadly defined.

Assessment is by means of one 4000-word essay and one two-hour examination.

Indicative reading:

  • Bayat, A., Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn, Stanford University Press, 2007.
  • Brohman, J., Popular Development: Rethinking the Theory and Practice of Development, Blackwell Publishers, 1996.
  • Chandhoke, Neera, State and Civil Society: Explorations in Political Theory, 1995.
  • Crush, J., Power of development, Routledge, 1995
  • Harrison, D. The sociology of modernization and development, Routledge, 1991.
  • Escobar, A., Encountering development: the making and unmaking of the Third World, Pluto, 1995.
  • Jolly, R., UN Contributions to Development Thinking and Practice. Indiana University Press, 2004.
  • Hoogvelt, A. Globalization and the Postcolonial World: The New Political Economy of Development, John Hopkins University Press, 2001.
  • Kabeer, N., Reversed realities: gender hierarchies in development thought, Verso, 1994.
  • Keane, J., Global civil society, Cambridge University Press, 2003
  • Keck, M. and Sikkink, K., Activists beyond borders: advocacy networks in international politics. Ithaca NY and London: Cornel University Press, 1998.
  • Lieten, K and Ben White (eds), Child Labour: Policy Options. Amsterdam: Askant, 2001.
  • Mamdani, M., Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism Princeton University Press, 1996.
  • Richard, P. Unholy Trinity: the IMF, World Bank and WTO, Zed Books, 2003.
  • Roberts, T.J. and Hite, A., eds. From modernization to globalization: perspectives on development and change, Blackwell, 1999.
  • Smith, B.C., Good Governance and Development, Palgrave, 2007. Wetherly, P.,Marxism and the State: An Analytical Approach, Palgrave, 2005.


Paper 4: Globalisation and Development

Co-ordinator: Dr Helena Pérez Niño

This paper contains three sections. Section 1 examines the revolution in the nature of the large firm since the 1970s and the role that large firms have played in the globalisation process. Section 2 examines the multiple contradictions that have emerged during the recent era of globalisation, including the environment, inequality, finance, and the concentration of business power. Section 3 examines the prospects for global regulation in the light of the impact of globalisation upon the West, the Muslim world and East Asia.

Assessment is by means of one 4000-word essay and one two-hour examination.

Indicative reading:

  • Peter Dicken, Global Shift, 7th edition, London, Guilford Press, 2015
  • Peter Nolan, China at the Crossroads, Cambridge, Polity, 2004
  • Charles Tripp, Islam and the Moral Economy, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 2006
  • Martin Wolf, Why Globalisation Works, London, Yale UP, 2004



Optional Papers


One full optional paper may be replaced with a 12000-word dissertation. For more information, click here.


Paper 13: Financial Organisation and Economic Growth

Co-ordinator: Mr Michael Kuczynski

Financing is an everyday ingredient in household life, in business activity, and in social choice or state action. Financing is also a key ingredient in open-economy national economic activity (see for example Ethiopia, Japan, or Venezuela today) How do financial institutions interact within those four components of economic life (households, business, state, rest-of-world)? How do the inescapable accounting links between those four components affect the interaction? Through what channels does economic activity drive finance and through what channels does finance drive economic activity?

Key ingredients

  • Keynes as an outlook on economic and financial analysis.
  • Financial institutions (money, banks, markets) and how they compete. Money-ness  
  • How financial competition constrains (or not) households, firms, states, centralized or decentralized  
  • How financing evolves with economic growth
  • The relationship between labour income, output pricing, resource prices, and financial returns
  • How financial activity is related to outcomes in the distribution of income and wealth
  • How financial activity is related to changes in technology and productivity
  • Meaning and elusiveness of optimality in growth, assets, and debt


  • A mixture of elementary economics with open-economy historical illustration
  • Neither familiarity with modern finance theory nor with econometrics are required
  • Examples focus on: resource-riches versus resource-scarcity, US versus Japan versus China versus Vietnam, economic activity under bank-based as opposed to market-based financial systems, episodes of rapid economic growth (European post World War II recovery, Mexico and Brazil under import-substitution, India and East Asia, Ethiopia) episodes of crisis, financial organization and slow growth. 

This paper is assessed by means of one 4000-word essay.

Indicative reading:

  • Levine, R., 'Financial development and economic growth: views and agenda', Journal of Economic Literature 2, 1997, pp. 688-726.
  • Stiglitz, J., 'Financial markets and development', Oxford Review of Economic Policy 5, 1989, pp. 55-68.
  • World Bank, World Bank Development Report, 1989.


Paper 14: Happiness, Justice, Freedom and Capabilities: a Philosophical Exploration

Co-ordinator: Dr Gay Meeks

This half paper focusses on rival conceptions of human well-being and debates about what the prime goal of development should be. It used to be taken for granted that the key development criterion - still much in evidence - was simply economic growth.  Nowadays that presumption is increasingly challenged but without agreement on an alternative.  Gains in a country’s material resources do bring potential for reducing poverty and boosting citizen well-being - but may not be so directed (who gets the gains?) and won’t necessarily increase general happiness. For some, increasing happiness or reducing misery is the ultimate aim - an approach in the spirit of Bentham and Mill now acquiring a high international profile.  However, others hold that concentrating on overall happiness may lead to neglect of individual rights, suggesting, with Rawls, that higher priority should go to considerations of justice, stressing liberty first and foremost but with special concern for the least well-off.  And others say insufficient account is being taken of the adaptability of feelings, objective disadvantage and the great diversity of circumstance and particular needs. In keeping with Aristotle’s emphasis on human flourishing, the capability approach seeks to address this: it too has a burgeoning following.  In Sen’s hands, building from his work on economic inequality and capturing Rawlsian themes in a different way, this approach views development “as freedom”, in a sense built on free choice of values together with access to realisable opportunity.  The course will discuss the reasoning behind these various lines of thought and invite you to weigh up their pros and cons, assessing what if anything they have in common and how effectively possible puzzles in them might be solved.  There will be investigation along the way of concepts of equality, fairness and affirmative action; self-interest, altruism and ‘giving what you can’; uncertainty and restricted rationality; doubt, testing and theory ladenness; value ladenness, objectivity and ‘fake news’. Essay topics are designed to give scope to create your own line of argument on unresolved issues we will come across while considering development aims in the light of short extracts from the writings of Mill, Layard, Singer, Glover, Sandel, Williams, Nozick, Rawls, Friedman, Tawney, Hume, Kahneman, Keynes and – most often - Sen.

No previous knowledge of philosophy is required.

Assessment is by means of one 4000-word essay.

Teaching – 8 x 2 hour lectures in the Michaelmas Term, which includes time for class discussion.  A one-to-one consultation meeting on initial essay ideas is offered at the end of term, and - because few will have written on philosophical issues before - there will also be a (time-limited) opportunity for written feedback during the Christmas vacation on a short draft section or plan of the essay.

Indicative reading:

[These items are listed in the sequence of the lectures, to give a flavour of the subject matter in advance; but bundles of very short and digestible extracts from the literature given out week by week will form the main material for our work]

  • Layard, R., Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, Allen Lane, 2005 [Penguin, 2006 and revised edition, 2011], Ch. 8 [Key extracts from J. S. Mill’s essays on utilitarianism and liberty will come in the bundles]
  • Singer, P., The Life You Can Save, Random House, 2009
  • Sandel, M , 'Justice:: What's the Right Thing to do?', Allen Lane, 2009 – or see his lecture course on justice at where you might try lecture 1 or 2 as a taster to get an idea of how philosophical discussion works
  • Friedman, M. and Friedman, R.D., Free to Choose: a Personal Statement, Pelican, 1980, Ch.5 [Extracts from positions contrasting with Free to Choose, coming e.g. from R.H.Tawney’s Equality (1931) and J. Rawls’s A Theory of Justice (1971) will be in the bundles]
  • Sen, A.K., Development as Freedom, Oxford University Press, 1999 [paperback edition, 2001], esp. Chs. 1-3
  • Sen, A.K, The Idea of Justice, 2009, Allen Lane [Penguin paperback edition, 2010]



Paper 15: Human Development and Education

Co-ordinator: Dr Tadashi Hirai and Dr Shailaja Fennell

Education is one of the key dimensions of Human Development. But grasping its full meaning and reach is not an easy task. Education is an interdisciplinary field, ranging from philosophy of education and pedagogy to school management and impact evaluation of specific policy interventions. Within this context, the objective of this paper is to delve into key contemporary education issues relevant to human development. It builds on the education lectures offered within Paper 2. It starts with some foundational issues about the link between education and human capital theory and education and economic growth contrasting it with the literature on education and emotions. It applies important policy lessons from the Capability Approach to current debates on inclusive education, empowerment and quality of education.

Assessment is by means of two 5,000 word essays.

Indicative reading:

  • Cunha, F and J. Heckman (2007) "The Technology of Skill Formation" American Economic Review, 97(2): 31-47.
  • Fennell, S. and M. Arnot (eds.) (2009) Gender Education and Equality in a Global Context: conceptual frameworks and policy contexts. London: Routledge.
  • Haq, M. U. (1995) Reflections on Human Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nussbaum, M. (2010) Not for Profit: why democracy needs the humanities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Nussbaum, M. (2015) Political Emotions: why love matters for justice. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard Unversity Press.
  • Sen, A. (1999) Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • UNDP (1990) Human Development Report – Concept and measurement of human development.
  • Walker, M. and E. Unterhalter (2007) Amartya Sen's Capability Approach and Social Justice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.



Paper 30: Justice and Development

Co-ordinator: Professor Barry Rider

This paper seeks to address, from a comparative perspective, a number of key issues relating to justice in the broad context of development. The study of these issues is primarily from the standpoint of those concerned with legal justice, but it properly comprehends relevant moral, social, economic and political considerations. It also has regard to the institutions and instrumentalities of justice and in particular the deliverability of justice in developing and transition economies. The paper focuses on the following broad areas: justice as a concept; the institutions of justice; specific legal issues in development such as stability, security, integrity, human rights and the environment; stability in financial systems; governance and transparency; the control of corruption; serious crime, and other destabilising factors including terrorism. Wider issues such as the impact of globalisation and technology are addressed in the context of these specific areas of concern. While the context is legal, no prior knowledge of law or its institutions is required or expected.

Assessment is by means of two 5000-word essays.

Indicative reading:

  • Alston P., ed., Peoples' rights, 2001, Oxford University Press, chs 1, 6.
  • Clayton, M. and Williams A., Social justice, Blackwell, 2004, chs 3, 4, 5 and 12.
  • Cockcroft L., Global Corruption, Money, Power and Ethics in the modern world, IB Tauris, 2012
  • Dworkin R., Law’s Empire, Hart,1998
  • Eatwell J. and Taylor, L., Global finance at risk: the case for international regulation, Polity Press, 2000, chs 1, 4, 5 and 6.
  • Fisman R. and Miguel E., Economic Gangsters, Corruption, Violence and the Poverty of Nations, (2008) Princeton
  • Kerusauskaite I., Anti-Corruption in International Development, 2018, Routledge
  • King R. and Kendall G., The state, democracy and globalization, Palgrave, 2004, chs 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7.
  • Kingley D., Civilising Globalisation, Human Rights and the Global Economy, 2010, Cambridge University Press
  • McLeod I., Legal Theory, Palgrave, 2003, chs 1, 2, 10 and 11.
  • Rider B., International Financial Crime, Edward Elgar, 2016
  • Sen  A., The Idea of Justice, 2010, Penguin, Pts 1 and 3
  • Sharman JC., The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management, Cornell, 2017
  • Stiglitz J., Making Globalisation Work, 2007, Penguin



Paper 43: Political Economy of Development in Africa

Co-ordinator: Dr Helena Pérez Niño and Dr Jon Phillips

This Paper examines the history and trajectory of development in Africa from a political economy perspective. Students will be introduced to theories of how African societies have been transformed in the process of capitalist expansion and will develop skills to analyse the development challenges of today. Focusing primarily but not exclusively on sub-Saharan Africa, the paper emphasises the historical roots of social and political institutions such as state, market and society, as well as covering periods of political turmoil, state formation and economic development. Throughout the Paper, students will be encouraged to explore how knowledge about African development is constructed and assess the possible implications for how development is understood.

The Paper covers a range of approaches to studying the political economy of African development, introducing debates on production and exchange in a range of African societies; the changing relationship between Africa economies and global markets; and the relations between social groups, states and markets. Individual sessions will explore the history and contemporary regimes of natural resource management; the development of agriculture and industrial sectors and their shaping of economic structures; the world of work, mobility and social movements; and the conceptualization and governance of poverty, inequality, violent conflict and climate change.

Assessment is by means of two 5000-word essays.

 Indicative readings:

  • Arrighi, G., 2002 The African crisis: world systemic and regional aspects. New Left Review 15:5-36.
  • Boone, C., 2014. Property and political order in Africa: Land rights and the structure of politics. Cambridge University Press.
  • Carmody, D.P., 2013. The rise of the BRICS in Africa: The geopolitics of South-South relations. Zed Books.
  • Cooper, F., 2002. Africa since 1940: the past of the present. Cambridge University Press.
  • Freund, B., 2016. The making of contemporary Africa: the development of African society since 1800. Macmillan International.
  • Mamdani, M., 2018. Citizen and subject: Contemporary Africa and the legacy of late colonialism. Princeton University Press.
  • Ndulu, B.J., Azam, J.P., O'Connell, S.A., Bates, R.H., Fosu, A.K. and Nijinkeu, D. eds., 2008. The political economy of economic growth in Africa, 1960-2000: An Analytic Survey. Cambridge University Press.
  • Padayachee, V. ed., 2010. The Political Economy of Africa. Routledge.
  • Young, C., 2012. The postcolonial state in Africa: Fifty years of independence, 1960–2010. University of Wisconsin Press.



Paper 340: Gender and Development

Co-ordinator: Dr Maryam Tanwir and Dr Nitya Khemka

The paper will explore the real world contexts of gender relations between women and men who occupy the lowest possible positions in a class hierarchy in developing societies. It will map the dynamics of gender relations against the backdrop of the realities of home and field. Using a multidisciplinary approach unique to the field of development studies, it will examine the gendered terrain of human nature.  Men and women both create and maintain society and contribute to development. They have separate and distinct (yet interdependent) roles, and they profit and suffer from the development trajectories disproportionately.  The paper will examine how development impacts men and women (at the bottom of the social and economic pyramid) in different ways.

 A survey of the extant literature on gender and organizations reveals that the focus is invariably on women, with gender issues being examined primarily through the lens of feminist theory. This course is unique as it views ‘gender’ as an issue that is relevant to both men as well as women and hence, will focus its analysis on men and women together. 

This paper will investigate if gendered behaviour can be explained by our biological and evolutionary roots. It will examine the role of gender on aggression, warfare and terrorism. It will retrace how development has impacted women and men from a historical, evolutionary, economic, political, legal, cultural and religious perspective. The paper will examine gender relations underpinning the organisation of informal networks in developing societies. It will aim to interrogate current power deficits that underpin gender relations and investigate their origin.

The main thrust of the course will be to argue that gender relations are core to ideas of development policy and implementation and that studying development through a gender lens is critical to understanding the dynamics at play in developing countries. The course aims to equip students with the theoretical and analytical skills required to understand gender issues in policymaking and development practice. 

The paper will be jointly run by Dr Tanwir and Dr Khemka who will hold weekly reading sessions with the class.

Assessment is by means of one 5000-word essay and participation in a bi monthly research seminar.

Indicative reading:

  • Fukuyama, Francis (2011) The Origins of Political Order: From Prehumen Times to the French Revolution (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Potts, M and Hayden, T (2008) Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World (Dallas, TX: BenBella Books)
  • Wilson, Edward (1978) On Human Nature (Harvard University Press)
  • Fukuyama, Francis (1998) "Women and the Evolution of World Politics," Foreign Affairs 77 no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1998).
  • Kabeer, N (1994) Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought (Verso, 1994)
  • Moser, C (1993) Gender Planning and Development: theory, practice and training (Routledge)
  • Nalini Visvanathan et al. (eds.) (1997) Women, Gender and Development Reader (Zed Books)

Paper 370: Natural Resources and Development

Coordinators: Dr Helena Pérez Niño and Dr Amir Lebdioui

This paper relies on a collaboration between lecturers from across the University of Cambridge, other universities and international development institutions (such as the International Monetary Fund and the International Renewable Energy Agency).

This paper examines the political economy of natural resource-based development by addressing key debates in development studies, economics and political ecology, surrounding primary commodities such as agricultural products, extractives (oil and mining) and renewable energies. The paper breaks through the conventional compartmentalising of these three types of natural resources to propose a broad discussion of the advantages and pitfalls of natural resource-based economies in developing countries. The paper speaks to classical debates in development studies as well as to timely debates about commodity cycles, and the ‘Green New Deal’, ‘green industrialization’ and the question of energy transitions in the broader context of economic development.

The paper will introduce students to the theory and history of resource-based development, with a particular emphasis on the relations and conflicts in society, states and markets in the processes of value addition, technological upgrading and diversification policies.

The half paper will be divided into four sections. The first introductory section will provide a broad theoretical framework and history of resource-based development and introduce students to the relation between primary commodities, resource mobilization and state formation. The second section will focus on the challenges facing agriculture-based economies. The third section focuses on developmental issues and policy strategies surrounding the extraction of metals and minerals (including oil and gas) from a political economy approach. The last section focuses on renewable resources and climate change. It will examine the politics of “green industrialization” and discusses strategies to mitigate climate change.

Assessment is by means of 4000 essays.

Indicative readings:

  • Arezki, R; T. Gylfason, and A. Sy (2011) Policies to harness the power of natural resources, Washington D.C.: IMF.
  • Ascher, W. (1999) Why Governments Waste Natural Resources: Policy Failures in Developing Countries, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
  • Byres, Terence J., (2003). ‘Agriculture and Development: the Dominant Orthodoxy and an Alternative View’, in H-J. Chang (ed) Rethinking Development Economics London: Anthem Press. Chapter 11.
  • Chang H.-J. (2007) “State-Owned Enterprise Reform”, United Nations DESA National Development Strategies Policy Notes, New York: United Nations DESA.
  • Collier, P. (2015) “Harnessing Natural Resources for Inclusive Growth”, Growth Brief,  International Growth Center, (March). Accessible at
  • Di John, J. (2009) From Windfall to Curse? Oil and Industrialization in Venezuela, 1920 to the Present. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press.
  • Humphreys, M., Sachs, J., & Stiglitz, J. E. (2007). Escaping the resource curse. New York.
  • International Renewable Energy Agency (2017) Renewable Energy Benefits: Leveraging Local Capacity for Solar PV. Abu Dhabi: IRENA.
  • Mazzucato M. and M. McPherson (2018) “The Green New Deal: A bold mission-oriented approach   IIPP Policy Brief (December).
  • Mitchell, T. (2011). Carbon democracy: Political power in the age of oil. Verso Books.
  • Ovadia, J. S. (2016). The petro-developmental state in Africa: Making oil work in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. Hurst.
  • Ross, M. (1999) “The Political Economy of Resource Curse”, World Politics, 51 (January), 297-322.


Paper 390: Migration, Human Trafficking and Development

Coordinator: Dr Saradamoyee Chatterjee

This half paper discusses key issues that link migration, forced migration and human trafficking from a developmental perspective. The course is divided into different sections, focusing upon migration, forced migration and human trafficking, culminating in the examination of the link between these issues.

The lectures on migration deal with issues such as data, trends, patterns, migration theory (how migration and migrants are conceptualised and researched in and across different disciplines) and the migratory experiences of people from different parts of the world. Of particular focus are the developmental factors and actions that influence migration, the policies that both assist and restrict migration, as well as issues surrounding forced labour.

Human trafficking is examined from a developmental perspective, and the course covers the different types and approaches to human trafficking, push and pull factors, and the global anti-trafficking response to prevent and protect the victims of trafficking. Some of the key questions addressed in this course include how human trafficking is a development issue; whether the legalisation of sex work reduces trafficking for sexual exploitation, and whether the legalisation of the illegal organ trade may assist in the reduction of organ trafficking.

The method of assessment is by means of one 5,000 word essay.

Indicative Reading:

  • Betts, A. (2009) Forced Migration and Global Politics. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Brettell, C. and J. F. Hollifield, Eds. (2008). Migration theory: Talking across disciplines. London, Routledge.
  • Chuang, J. (2006). Beyond a snapshot. Preventing human trafficking in the global economy. Indiana journal of global legal studies. 13(1).
  • Gazzotti, L. (2018). From irregular migration to radicalization? Fragile borders, securitized development and the government of Moroccan youths, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
  • King, R., R. Black, et al. ( 2010). The Atlas of Human Migration - Global Patterns of People on the Move. London, Earthscan.
  • Kothari, U. (2003). Staying put and staying poor? Journal of International Development. 15: 645–657.
  • Rigg, J. (2006). Land, Farming, Livelihoods, and Poverty: Rethinking the Links in the Rural South. World Development.34 (1): 180-202.
  • Chatterjee, S. (2017) “The Illegal Kidney Trade: Who Benefits?” The European Review of Organised Crime 4(2).
  • UNODC Global Report on TIP 2016.


Paper 400: Development of Central Asia and the Caucasus

Co-ordinator: Dr Siddharth S. Saxena

Silk Road region has both contemporary and historical relevance when it comes to understanding development in Asia and Eurasia. This paper addresses political, economic, cultural and industrial development in Central Asia, the Caucasus and also broadly in the connected realms of Eurasia. Standard reading of economic and political theories tend be unsatisfactory in engaging with this vast and dynamic geography. Central Asia has a mystical resonance in the world imagination carved by the writings of the Orientalists and the biographers of the Great Game. Following that, the Soviet period, in contrast to a millennia old ‘globalised’ connectivity of the region, signalled a substantial shift in political and economic systems and focused more on internal development. Region also became part of a larger structure of the apparatus of the Cold War. Relatively recent dissolution of the Soviet Union and emergence of sovereign Central Asian and Caucasus nation-states has again pushed the re-set button. The new resurgence has given rise to high rates of growth in some of the countries, partly fed by discovery of the very large reserves of oil, natural gas and rare-earth metals, together with blooming agricultural production, manufacturing and transport hubs across all countries point to new development configurations in the 21st century. However some of the countries drastically lag behind. Also of interest is how Central Asia and Eurasia is responding to the current changes in global political order and resultant economic implications. 

Assessment is by means of two 5,000 word essays.

Indicative Reading: 

  • Turko-Persia in Historical Perspective (School of American Research Advanced Seminars) Robert L. Canfield (Editor), Cambridge University Press (2002)
  • E. Allworth, ed., Central Asia: One Hundred Twenty Years of Russian Rule, rev. ed. (Durham, NC: Duke U. Press, 1989)
  • Thomas Barfield, The Perilious Frontier: Nomadic Empires and China (1989)
  • V.V. Barthold and T. Minorsky, Four Studies on the History of Central Asia (1958)
  • Sally Cummings, Understanding Central Asia: Politics and Contested Transformations (Routledge 2012)
  • Nicola Di Cosmo, Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002
  • Renee Grousset, The Empires of the Steppe: A History of Central Asia (1970)


Paper 800: Anthropology in Development

Co-ordinator: Dr Riall Nolan

This course focuses on how anthropology is used in development work, and specifically at how socio-cultural methodologies and data are incorporated into planning and implementation.

We will look first at anthropology’s unique disciplinary attributes and their significance for development work, at how anthropology’s involvement with development has advanced and changed over the decades, and at how anthropology contributes to the design, implementation and assessment of development efforts.

We will then examine some short case studies which illustrate this involvement. We will look at how anthropological perspectives have improved project results in selected cases. We will also look at some of the ways in which anthropological approaches and methods have been incorporated into the design of projects.

We will then look in some detail at some of the issues, problems and opportunities inherent in the way anthropology is used. We will pay particular attention to how the structure, operation, and basic assumptions of today’s “development industry” both enable and constrain anthropology’s contribution.

The course will conclude with a discussion of what might be changed in the future to improve development practice, touching on changes in the development industry as well as changes in how anthropologists are trained and employed for work in development.

This course will be helpful for anyone involved in the planning, implementation or evaluation of development activities, whether at the grass roots or at the policy level.

The course is examined by means of one 5,000 word essay.

Indicative Reading:

  • Crewe, Emma & Elizabeth Harrison 1998, Whose Development? An Ethnography of Aid, London, Zed Books.
  • Crewe, Emma & Richard Axelby 2013, Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalised World, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.
  • De Haan, Arjan 2009, How the Aid Industry Works, Sterling, VA, Kumarian Press.
  • Douglas, Mary 1986, How Institutions Think, Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University Press.
  • Edelman, Marc & Angelique Haugerud (eds) 2005, The Anthropology of Development and Globalization, Malden, MA, Blackwell.
  • Gardner, Katy and David Lewis 1996, Anthropology, Development and the Post-Modern Challenge, London, Pluto Press.
  • Gardner, Katy and David Lewis 2015, Anthropology and Development: Challenges for the Twenty-First Century, London, Pluto Press.
  • Nolan, Riall 2002, Development Anthropology, Boulder, CO, Westview Press.
  • Tendler, Judith 1975, Inside Foreign Aid, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University. Press.
  • Wedel, Janine R. 2001,Collusion and Collision: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe, New York, Palgrave.


Paper 900: International Humanitarianism and Development

Co-ordinator: Professor Raymond Apthorpe 

In the event, compassion can cost, as well as save, lives; be cruel as well as kind. Or make little difference either way. Consider for example much of the recent history of international humanitarian intervention and aid.  Deep seated ambiguities, eternal dilemmas of practical action, confronting controversies, lie as they should, and must, at the heart of humanitarian action where, alike for the intervening agencies as well of course for the disaster- and crisis-afflicted populations, outcomes matter more than intents when it comes to the reckoning.

Our quarry in this (half) paper is the intelligibility of humanitarian intervention and its consequences viewed as moral and material action as well. Through the under- (and over-) growth of their speak and other social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental  institutions and policies we pursue and capture the intelligibility – the intelligibilities – of the humanitarianism – the humanitarianisms – involved. Involved not as fable, not as logic or reason, but as practical action promised or/and taken across borders in the name of humanity by  governmental, inter-governmental, non-governmental and other actors and organizations to meet the needs, and the rights, of those affected populations, and the worth and results of that action again for all the parties involved, the intervenors as well as the intervened.

To this end of establishing the intelligibilities of humanitarianisms-in-practice, we bend to our purposes (a) some of the key tenets (preferred and alternative modes of ‘framing’ particularly but also ‘naming’, ‘coding’ and ‘counting’) that are pivotal in critical discourse analysis, and (b) the philosophy Elizabeth Anscombe called ‘consequentialism’ applied through what Onora O’Neill called ‘consequentialist reasoning’. However that is an area in which there is still much intellectual work to do, at various levels of  abstraction.

Neither ‘consequence’ nor ‘result’ is a whole and transparent notion of effect. Some consequences are more consequential than others. Consequences may ‘follow’, but what are they precisely and how, and when, and where, is case to case to be determined.   

While, never fear, this is not a course in anthropology, advanced or otherwise, where anthropological angles can continue (they have a long history) to contribute to study of familiar forms of humanitarianism so as to better challenge, re-conceptualize, and re-design them, be sure they will be – much recommended. But never exclusively.

Full course details and reading list available on Moodle.

Assessment is by means of one 5,000-word essay.

Indicative reading:

  • Allen, L. (2013), The rise and fall of human rights: cynicism and politics in occupied Palestine.
  • ALNAP (2018), The state of the world humanitarian system [and other annual or biannual world reports, to be compared with those compiled by other agencies such as Development Alternatives, the ICRC and various UN agencies.
  • ALNAP (2016), Evaluation of humanitarian action: a practical manual.
  • Cohen, S. (2001) States of denial: knowing about atrocities and suffering.
  • Cramer, C. (2006), Civil war is not a stupid thing: accounting for violence in developing countries.
  • De Waal, A. (1997), Famine crimes: politics and the disaster relief industry in Africa.
  • De Waal, A. (ed.) (2015), Advocacy in conflict: critical perspectives on transnational activism.
  • Donini, A. et al (eds.) (2004), Nation-building unravelled: peace and justice in Afghanistan
  • Donini, A. (ed.) (2012), The golden fleece: manipulation and independence in humanitarian action.
  • Everill, B and Kaplan, J. (2013), The history and practice of humanitarian intervention and aid in Africa..
  • Fukui, K. and Markakis, J. (eds.) (1994), Ethnicity and conflict in the Horn of Africa.
  • Jaspars, Susanne (2018) Food aid in Sudan: a history of power, politics, and profit
  • Johnstone, Diana (2002) Fools’ crusade; Yugoslavia, Nato, and Western Delusions
  • Keen, D (2017) Syria: playing into their hands: regime and international roles in fuelling violence and fundamentalisms in the Syrian war
  • Kelly, John (2012) The graves are walking: the great famine and the sage of the Irish people.
  • Kent, G. (2006), Framing war and genocide: British policy and news media reaction to the war in Bosnia.
  • Malkki, L.H (2015), The need to help: the domestic arts of international humanitarianism.
  • Maxwell, D. and Majid, N (2016) Famine in Somalia: competing imperatives, collective failures, 2011-12.
  • Pottier, J. (2002), Re-imagining Rwanda: conflict, survival and disinformation in the late twentieth century.
  • Redfield, P. (2013), Life in crisis: the ethical journey of doctors without borders.
  • Simpson, E. (2013), The political biography of an earthquake: aftermath and amnesia in Gujarat, India.
  • Wood, A., Apthorpe, R., Borton, J, eds. (2001) Evaluating international humanitarian action: reflections from practitioners (of which later there were French, then Spanish, editions).