Theories, Principles and Contemporary Issues in Development

  2. Subject Aim

To impart students with knowledge on theories, principles and emerging issues in development


  • Course Expected Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • describe the principles and theories of development
  • analyze concepts of human kind transformation and theories of development
  • explain evolution of human kind transformation and theories of development.
  • apply theories of development to assess well-being and underdeveloped economies
  • assess the role of capitalism and colonial legacy on underdeveloped countries
  • assess application of development theories in the context of developing countries.

iv.                Course Status:



v.                  Credit Rating:

9.0 Credits


vi.                Total hours spent: 90



45 hours



20 hours



10 hours


Independent Study

15 hours



00 hours

                 Pre-requisite: None

  • Course Content

Concepts of development studies; core values of development; human development; concept of sustainable development; transformation of human kind; laws governing transformation process; evolution of development studies; mode of production; socio-economic formation; transformation or North-South relation and the Bretton Wood institutions; philosophy and theories/models of development; Marxist Theory of social development; economic and political basis of Marxism; Rostow’s stages of growth models; the Harrod-Domar growth model, Nurkse’s vicious circles of poverty; Bourgeois theorists and Marxists dependency theories: A comparative look; implications of dependency theories; Structuralism theory (1960s-1970s); structural change and patterns of development, international dependency revolution, Neo-Colonial dependency model; The False-Paradigm Model, The Neo-Classical counter-revolution market fundamentalism (1980s to date). The falls-paradigm model; the Dualistic Development Thesis; democracy and governance globalization and contemporary issues in development (gender, food security, poverty, HIV/AIDS, environment and climate change), policy and development.

  • Teaching and Learning Activities

Teaching will involve lectures, group assignments and seminar presentations, individual assignments to capture self-reading. Use of case studies in teaching for some practical aspects will be employed.

  1. Assessment Methods

The assessments will be through continuous assessments where written timed tests, quizzes, seminar presentations and individual assignments will be used. The assessment shall also include final university written examination.



  1. Reading List:

Michael, T. Todaro and Stephen Smith (2009). Economic Development. Addison-Wesley. 861pp.

Kelle, V. and Kovalson, M., (1973) Historical Materialism: An Outline of Marxist Theory of Society, Progress Publisher, Moscow.

Rostow, W.W. (1960). The stages of economic growth. A non-communist manifesto. Cambridge University press, Cambridge, UK.

Leys, C. (1996).  The Rise and Fall of Development Theory, Nairobi: East African Publishing House; Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press; London: James Currey.

Roberts, J.T. and Hite, A.  (ERD.) (2007). The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change. Blackwell Publishing: Malden (USA), pp. 450.

Stieglitz, J. (2002). Globalization and its Discontents. Penguin Books: London, pp 288