top of page

Political Economy of Development


POL 441


Spring 2024


We will study the evolution of the project of development from its launched as a post-World War II initiative to its characteristics under the current era of economic globalization and liberalization, including backlashes against the forms this project has taken. Each phase of development has been marked by intense theoretical and practical debate, from the certainties of modernization theory, the explanatory perspectives of dependency theory to more current critiques of anti-development and anti-globalization theorists. In this course, we will examine the intellectual and practical foundations of these debates. To do so, we will link development theories to the material practice of development. While the standard curriculum of development studies courses focuses on policy actors and institutions – such as states, mega-institutions and NGOs – we will broaden the scope of development studies by looking at the social, political, environmental and economic practices through which development is experienced. By studying, for example, the informal economy, peasant movements and global and local strategies for sustainable development we will investigate the boundaries between development theory and practice. In this way, we will investigate the “Third World” as more than a recipient of development, but as a site from which development objectives, theories and practices emerge.

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  1. have a familiarity with development problems;

  2. be able to explain and critique the various approaches to the practice of development;

  3. be able to use case studies to test the hierarchy between the first and the third world that is applied to solve development problems.

Offered by the FLA at Sophia University

Your Instructor

Takeshi Ito

Professor of Political Science
Faculty of Liberal Arts
Graduate School of Global Studies
Sophia University

bottom of page