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Political Economy of Development (DEVT90045)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeDEVT90045
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will analyse the contemporary, integrated global crises of poverty, wealth and ecological destruction. It will concentrate on the contribution which economic analysis can make to understanding the issues and to addressing them. Topics to be covered include: the goals of socio-economic policy; the intertwined economic, financial, distributional and ecological crises; the dilemmas of integrating human development with environmental sustainability; neo-liberal economic strategies and their social democratic alternatives; macroeconomic stabilisation policies and their coordination; public finance and the minimisation of tax evasion; external finance for development including official development assistance and innovative sources of finance; population growth, ageing and social protection; conflict resolution and demilitarisation; employment; and global economic governance. The evolution of policies and proposals for innovation will be extensively discussed.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students will be expected to have:

• Strengthened their understanding of the choices involved in setting goals for development policy and their sense of priorities for national strategy formation;

• Gained a thorough knowledge of the underlying assumptions, intellectual strengths and critiques of neo-liberal economics and of alternatives being advocated and attempted;

• Grown in understanding of the diversity of experience of developing countries through comparative case studies;

• Increased their capacity to discern the political and economic forces driving various approaches to development strategy and of the means through which they work;

• Strengthened their analytical capacity to understand complex issues of national development strategy and to formulate more cost-effective steps towards equitable economic and social development; and

• Be able to write persuasively about conceptual and normative aspects of national and international political, economic, financial and social issues.

• This will be an analytical and applied seminar aiming to enhance understanding of views about national and international development strategies. Each session will include both teaching and small group and whole of class discussion. Students will be encouraged to identify issues which they would like to discuss.

Generic skills

Students will be expected to grow in capacity for effective participation in class discussion, in small group work and in essay writing through:

  • Undertaking an adequate amount of reading and research about the prescribed topics using appropriate material;
  • Speaking and writing lucidly, relevantly and coherently, using appropriate material;
  • Demonstrating comprehension of the material read and studied for class, and during preparation for essays;
  • Showing evidence of imaginative, creative and principled thought;
  • Identifying the main issues involved in a subject and to explain them comprehensively and effectively;
  • Writing a succinct and clear introduction to an essay and developing the argument in a rigorous, logical and well organised manner;
  • Completing essays with a justified and well expressed conclusion;
  • Writing lucidly, with accurate spelling and grammar.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
DEVT90009 Development Theories
Semester 1
Semester 2

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • An essay of 2000 words (40%) due after Week 5 of semester.
  • An essay of 3000 words (60%) due during the examination period.
  • Hurdle requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject and regular class participation is expected.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorJohn Langmore
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24 contact hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Additional delivery details

Admission to 097-AB Master of Development Studies or MC-IR Master of International Relations.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone and Rohinton Medhora (Eds.), 2014, International Development: Ideas, Experience, and Prospects, Oxford, OUP.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

Last updated: 2 August 2019