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Queen's University

Department of Global Development Studies

DEVS Course Offerings

100s & 200s 300s 400s 493+ & 500s
100 300 410 491/894
220 305 411 492/809
221 311 420 493/803
240 320 494/804 
321 495/805

330 496/806
340 497/807 
350 498/808

393 499/830

394 501

395 502

For information about our semester abroad program please visit the main office for Global Development Studies or send your questions to

If you have questions about our directed reading course or are interested in the thesis option please contact the Undergraduate Chair at

For more detailed course information please visit our faculty pages.  

DEVS 100/6.0 - Fall/Winter

Instructors:  David McDonald (Fall) and Karen Dubinsky (Winter)

Course Title: Canada and the "Third World"

Introduces basic theoretical concepts of development studies, the history of global inequality, and short histories of alternative development strategies. Case studies of Canada’s ties to the so-called third world will include missionaries, military, business, and aid. Canadian colonialism over First Nations peoples will introduce basic issues in Aboriginal Studies.  Syllabus (PDF 744KB)  


NOTE Also offered as a distance course. Consult Continuing and Distance Studies at

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DEVS 220/3.0 - Fall

Instructor:  Robert Lovelace

Course Title: Introduction to Aboriginal Studies

An introduction to Aboriginal world view and culture organized on an historical basis, from Creation to 1969, emphasizing Aboriginal culture and experience in Canada. Aboriginal perspectives will be introduced through traditional teaching methods and contributions from elders and other community members. Syllabus (PDF 513KB)


NOTE Also offered as a distance course. Consult Continuing and Distance Studies at

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DEVS 221/3.0 - Winter

Instructor: Robert Lovelace

Course Title: Topics in Aboriginal Studies


Re-evaluation of conventional knowledge based on aboriginal world view and culture and the introduction of a decolonized perspective on contemporary issues. Guest speakers will provide detailed examinations of specific topics such as current issues in Aboriginal spirituality, art, education and politics.


NOTE Also offered as a distance course. Consult Continuing and Distance Studies at


LEARNING HOURS 120 (36L;84P) PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above. DEVS 220/3.0 or permission of the Department of Global Development Studies.

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DEVS 230/3.0 - Fall

Instructor:  Susanne Soederberg

Course Title: The Global Political Economy of Development

This course introduces students to key debates, concepts and themes of global development. The analytical lens through which we will make sense of global development will be international political economy (IPE). IPE is not a discipline.  It is in interdisciplinary approach that embraces many competing perspectives (see the Krätke and Underhill reading in ‘Week 1’ below). IPE guides our investigations into various events, issues and problems that mark global development by focusing our attention on two overlapping facets of our complex social world. First, IPE approaches try to understand the nature of the power of economic processes, actors and structures as well as the nature of the power wielded by states, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international organizations. Second, IPE aims to comprehend how these two sources of power interact, that is, shape each other. In so doing, we aim to comprehend more fully the underlying reasons of the transformation of economic and political structures, actors and processes over the course of history. Some of the key questions IPE allows us to ask and answer is:  Who benefits and why? And, What is the nature and source(s) of power?


Armed with our IPE lens, we examine how different power relations are constructed, contested, and transformed across national and global settings from the 1970s to the present period. These past several decades have been characterized by a dominant ideas and understandings of within official development paradigms called neoliberalism. The latter describes a form of governance and ideology that emerged with the rise of structural adjustment programmes in the early 1980s. Neoliberalism essentially equates progress with economic growth and stability with market-led, as opposed to state-led, policies. In trying to understand who benefits and why from neoliberal-led global development, as well as its constantly changing relations that structure policies, ideas and institutions that have emerged from this paradigm over the past forty years, we will cover many of its salient features. For instance, we will explore the rise and demise of the Bretton Woods Regime, the 1982 Debt Crisis, the rise of structural lending programmes and neoliberalism, the shift to the so-called Post-Washington Consensus, the role of the World Trade Organization and changing nature of corporate power (e.g., corporate social responsibility), and the underlying causes and official responses to the spate of financial crises that swept across the global South and global North in the 1990s and 2000s.


The course has two primary objectives. First and foremost, we will learn how to apply a generic IPE lens to various issues and features of neoliberal-ledglobal development. Second, we will learn about key concepts, theories, debates and dominant narratives that have come to define global development over the past forty years. No prior study of economics is needed for this course – we will be concerned with the real world of development, not abstract and ahistorical mathematical models. Any technical terms deemed important in understanding the lectures, and the instructor will introduce which is not adequately described in the readings.  It will be assumed that students will independently research other technical (financial or economic) terms not covered in the lecture


LEARNING HOURS 96 (24L;12T;12O;48P) PREREQUISITE DEVS 100/6.0 (DEVS 100/6.0 can be taken concurrently in exceptional circumstances). EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 230/3.0; POLS 262/3.0.

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DEVS 240/3.0 - Winter

Instructor:  Paritosh Kumar

Course Title: Culture and Development


Provides students with a broad overview of debates relating to development and culture, including issues of religion, music, sport, art and literature, and how these interact with economic policy and

political change.


PREREQUISITES DEVS 100/6.0 and DEVS 230/3.0. (DEVS 100/6.0 can be taken concurrently in exceptional circumstances).

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DEVS 300/3.0 - Fall

Instructor:  Villia Jefremovas

Course Title: Cross-Cultural Research Methods


This course will introduce students to the preparation and design of cross-cultural research projects for international development work, to understand and use selected methods from a critical perspective, to provide a grasp of important elements underlying successful fieldwork and to learn to develop a development research proposal. We will cover research design, choosing the instruments, cross-checking and in-the-field analysis, entering the field, choosing the informants, analyzing the data and proposal writing. This will (a) familiarize students with the concepts, issues and processes in fieldwork; (b) introduce students to the process of developing a development research proposal and project (c) promote critical thinking; (d) develop writing proficiency and oral communication skills, through lectures, exercises, and written assignments.


PREREQUISITES DEVS 100/6.0 and DEVS 230/3.0 and DEVS 240/3.0 (DEVS 100/6.0 can be taken concurrently with DEVS 230/3.0 or DEVS 240/3.0 in exceptional circumstances).

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DEVS 305/6.0 –  Winter

Instructors:  Karen Dubinsky, Susan Lord, and Zaira Zarza

Course Title: Cuban Culture and Society

Devs 305, an interdisciplinary course 6.0 unit course which also counts towards degree requirements in the departments of Film and Media Studies, Sociology, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and History, will be taught over Winter and part of Spring term 2014. The session dates are as follows:


Session dates:
Queen's portion:

  Regular Winter Term, beginning January 8, 2015 (Three hours weekly - Thursday PM.

  Queen's Intensive Pre-Departure Sessions:  April 30, 2015 to May 5, 2015 (time to be determined)

Registration will be open after successful applicants are accepted in the course (October 3, 2014).

Havana portion Saturday May 9, 2015 to Sunday May 23, 2015.



  1. Students are expected to pay an ancillary fee for travel and accommodation while in Havana.
  2. Students must apply to take the course. Applications are available in the DEVS office.
  3. Students are expected to attend a pre-departure orientation.
  4. Costs and application deadlines will be posted on the DEVS website.

PREREQUISITE Level 3 or above and registration in any Arts and Science Plan.




For more information see Global Development Studies department website
See also Queen’s Cuban Culture and Society course page on Facebook

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DEVS 311/3.0 – Winter

Instructor:   Marcus Taylor

Course Title: Labour and Global Development

Explores the relationships between the production of goods, the lives and livelihoods of workers, and socio-economic development at local, national and global levels. Issues include: the international division of labour; global commodity chains; technological change; labour markets; informal sector; genders in production; unions and labour rights.  Syllabus (PDF 170KB)


PREREQUISITES DEVS 100/6.0 and DEVS 230/3.0.


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DEVS 320/3.0 - Fall

Instructor:  Marc Epprecht

Course Title:  AIDS, Power, and Poverty

HIV/AIDS remains one of the most pressing development issues in the world today.  This course examines the cultural, political, economic, and other social factors that contribute to its transmission and intractability, and which help to explain the differential impact of the disease upon societies worldwide.  Particular attention is paid to the ways that specific social/sexual identities and practices arising from inequitable class, gender, race, and ethnic relations, affect the prevalence of HIV, the ability to contain its spread, and the human costs that it entails. 


PREREQUISITES    One of:  DEVS 100/6.0, DEVS 200/3.0, DEVS 210/3.0,  DEVS 220/3.0, DEVS 221/3.0, DEVS 230/3.0, HLTH 101/3.0; and third-year standing.


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DEVS 321/3.0 - Fall

Instructor:  Da Da Costa  

Course Title:  Development Dramas 

In commonsense terms, theatre is considered entertainment. Historically, in various parts of the world, theatre has been used as a tool for agitation, propaganda, and social movements. In the last two decades, theatre has also become a popular medium for delivering development messages because it bypasses the need for literacy, has entertainment value, and therefore affective power. In this course, we study a range of uses of theatre by analyzing theatre as a resource for political action and economic opportunity.

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DEVS 330/3.0 – Winter

Instructor:   Mark Hostetler

Course Title: Technology and Development


An introduction to the socio-economic, cultural and political factors surrounding technology and its relationship to the development process in both advanced industrial societies and developing nations. Student project groups will focus on particular realms of technology in development and the interaction of politics and policy with technological choice and design, including appropriate, intermediate and sustainable technologies.


PREREQUISITE Level 3 or above and (registration in any DEVS Plan or registration in any Applied Science Program), or permission of the Department.


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DEVS 340/3.0 – Fall

Instructor:   Marcus Taylor

Course Title: Theories of Development

Provides students with an overview of theories that underpin the development enterprise, and critiques of development, through the use of primary texts and critical appraisals. Syllabus


PREREQUISITES DEVS 100/6.0 and DEVS 230/3.0 and DEVS 240/3.0. (DEVS 100/6.0 can be taken concurrently with DEVS 230/3.0 or DEVS 240/3.0 in exceptional circumstances).


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 340/3.0; POLS 346/3.0.


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DEVS 350/3.0 – Winter

Instructor:  Dia Da Costa

Course Title:  Gender and Development

Explores gender and development as related social formations in global North and South. Traces historical processes including colonial capitalism as it restructured gender inequalities, shaped anti-colonial projects of ‘freedom’, framed institutional projects of ‘development’, rights and ‘empowerment’, and recast resistance against gender inequality.


PREREQUISITES DEVS 100/6.0 and DEVS 230/3.0 and DEVS 240/3.0.



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DEVS 394 3.0 – Fall

Instructor:  Villia Jefremovas

Course Title:  Indigenous People in International Comparative Perspective


This course will look at issues concerning indigenous peoples from a comparative perspective, using examples from both settlers states, in which pre-existing populations were displaced by large scale migrations of culturally different populations, such as Canada, US, and Australia, and those in which the majority populations and indigenous populations were differentiated by assimilation and conquest into a colonial state, such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Guatemala, will be discussed.  This course will consider the debates over the definition of “indigenous” identity and indigenous rights from a historical and comparative perspective; the relationship of indigenous peoples to the state, NGOs and to the dominant cultures within the nation-state; the underpinnings of national policies put into place for indigenous peoples and the impact of these policies on internal dynamics of indigenous groups; the link that new legislation has made between indigenous peoples and the environment and the implications of this link for indigenous peoples.


This course has a number of goals, to (a) familiarize students with the theory, concepts, issues and processes in rural development; (b) promote critical thinking; (c) develop writing proficiency and oral communication skills, through seminar discussion, seminar presentations, and written assignments.


PREREQUISITE Level 3 or above and registration in any DEVS Plan, or permission of the Department.


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DEVS 396/3.0 – Winter

Instructor: Meaghan Frauts
Course Title: Caribbean Culture and Development 

 The primary concern of this course is to understand the intersections of culture and development within the Caribbean. In doing so we will highlight major differences in the region while paying close attention to the historical forces of colonialism, nationalism, developmentalism and current day neoliberalism that serve to maintain the uneven economic, social and cultural development of the Caribbean. The first part of this course historically situates the Caribbean within a colonial context. In this section we will confront the various colonial legacies that are still present today. The second part of this course looks at how development institutions have established ‘culture’ as an imperative to development and how this has in turn affected the Caribbean region. In particular we will look at intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class.  Finally, we will look critically at how cultural practices within the region have been used in complicated ways to both enhance capitalistic development and resist it. This section of the course will make use of case studies in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Haiti. While attention to popular culture and cultural productions will appear throughout the course, this last section will look specifically at various artistic practices within the region including, music, film, literature and performance art.


PREREQUISITE Level 3 or above and registration in any DEVS Plan, or permission of the Department.

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DEVS 410/6.0 

Instructor:   Please contact the DEVS office

Course Title: Work Placement in Development Studies

Provides students with first-hand experience working with an agency involved in international development, either in Canada or abroad. The placement will normally be for 10-20 weeks, to be negotiated with the sponsoring agency. Students are required to attend preparatory meetings, prepare a work-study proposal, a research paper on the placement and maintain a journal on a continuing basis while on their placement. In addition to academic requirements, students are required to enroll in the Queen's Emergency Support Program, attend pre-departure orientation and complete Queen's Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) requirements.


NOTE Students are normally responsible for all costs associated with participation in this course.




PREREQUISITES Level 3 or above and registration in the DEVS Major Plan and departmental approval in advance from the Head of Global Development Studies.


COREQUISITE DEVS 411/3.0 (Under special circumstances a student can substitute DEVS 502/3.0 (Directed Readings in Development Studies) for DEVS 411/3.0. Permission for the latter may be granted to students who have completed all other degree requirements, and who do not need to return to Queen's University campus following completion of their placement. Students must seek prior approval from the Placement Coordinator, Global Development Studies for this option).


EXCLUSION No more than 1 course from DEVS 410/6.0; DEVS 420/3.0; DEVS 432/6.0.

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DEVS 411/3.0

Instructor:   Please contact the DEVS office

Course Title: Post Placement Seminar in Development Studies

Required for students who have successfully completed the course requirements for DEVS 410. The course will provide a forum for students to debrief and to critically examine their placement experience. Evaluation based on presentation, participation, journal synthesis and a final report.


PREREQUISITE DEVS 410/6.0 and Level 3 or above and registration in the DEVS Major Plan and departmental approval in advance from the Placement Coordinator, Global Development Studies.


EXCLUSIONS No more than 1 course from DEVS 411/3.0; DEVS 432/6.0.


ONE-WAY EXCLUSION May not be taken with or after DEVS 420/3.0; DEVS 421/3.0.

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DEVS 420/3.0 – Fall

Instructor:   Please contact the DEVS office

Course Title: Study Placement in Development Studies


Participation in an organized educational or cultural exchange, either i) one term of studies at a developing-country university, or ii) an exchange program in a developing-country setting with an organization such as Canada World Youth or Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute for at least 6 weeks. Students are required to prepare a work-study proposal, a risk assessment of their placement and attend a pre-departure orientation. Assessment will also be based on a journal and final report.


NOTE Students are normally responsible for all costs associated with this course.



PREREQUISITES Level 3 or above and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan and departmental approval in advance from the Placement Coordinator, Global Development Studies.


EXCLUSION No more than 1 course from DEVS 410/6.0; DEVS 420/3.0; DEVS 432/6.0.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 420/3.0; DEVS 421/3.0.


DEVS 491 / 894 (seminar)/3.0 – Winter

Instructor:  David McDonald  

Course Title: Cities and Urbanization in the South


More than 50% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, up from about 3% in 1900.  This rapid urbanization is expected to continue over the next two decades, with the majority of growth taking place in Africa, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America. Cities have also become engines of economic growth and social pluralization, acting as conduits for – and generators of – larger global transformations.  From music to foreign investments to infrastructure development, cities are key sites of socio-economic and political change (and resistance thereto) and will only grow in importance in the future.  This course explores the linkages between urbanization and globalization with a focus on cities in the South.  We look at similarities and differences between these cities, and how they connect (or not) with urban areas in the North. 


The course begins with an historical and comparative overview of urbanization, followed by a review of the main theoretical frameworks for explaining and understanding urbanization trends. From this theoretical foundation we move to more concrete debates over the role of the World Bank and the UN in urban policy making, the privatization of municipal services such as water and sanitation, the challenges of environmental sustainability in cities, the rise of new social movements and recent efforts at participatory budgeting and other ‘anti-neoliberal’ forms of governance in cities in the South. 


Taught concurrently with DEVS 894/3.0.


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 491/3.0, DEVS 894/3.0.

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DEVS 492/809 (seminar)/3.0 – Fall 

Instructor:  Paritosh Kumar

Course Title: Development and the Global Agrofood System

There can be little doubt that the current era is witnessing dramatic change in the global production and consumption of food. In some respects this represents that continuation of previous trends. However, in number of important ways agricultural restructuring in the late twentieth century appears completely new.  Using a diverse disciplinary perspective, this course analyses key aspects of contemporary changes in the global agro-food system. Topics covered will range from industrialization and corporate control of food and farming, the geography of more ‘flexible’ forms of manufacturing and service provisions, feminization of agricultural labour, localized and place-based agriculture, non-agricultural uses of agro-food resources, food democracy and sovereignty to new landscapes of consumption, changing forms of political organisation and protests and the relationship between food and culture, specifically how communities and societies identify and express themselves through food.  Taught concurrently with DEVS 809/3.0 .


Taught concurrently with DEVS 809/3.0.


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 492/3.0, DEVS 809/3.0.

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DEVS 493 / 803 (seminar)/3.0 – Winter

Instructor:  Marc Epprecht  

Course Title: The African Renaissance in Comparative Perspective 3L

This course critically assesses the premises and promises of the “African renaissance” of democratic political transitions, accelerating rates of economic growth, and “demographic dividend.”  It begins with a critical overview of the history of underdevelopment under colonial and neo-colonial conditions, including through unequal relations in the production of knowledge about Africa. Students then examine a series of specific contemporary or proposed development strategies/tools including: public versus private service delivery, the future of colonial borders, the role of tourism, the nature of urbanization, gender and sexual rights, information technology, and Chinese aid/trade.


Taught concurrently with DEVS 803/3.0.


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 493/3.0, DEVS 803/3.0.

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DEVS 494 / 804 (seminar)/3.0 – Fall

Instructor:  Susanne Soederberg   

Course Title: Global Goverance and Development


Scope And Objectives:

Global governance is the sum of many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is the continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and cooperative action may be taken. It includes formal institutions…as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions have either agreed to or perceive to be in their interest.


Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighbourhood(1995)


The above definition of global governance has been widely employed by scholars, policymakers, journalists, and activists to describe how the world economy has been ‘managed’. Over the past decade, global governance has become so central to the understanding of our contemporary world that universities have begun to offer graduate degrees and certificate programmes in this field, e.g., There is even an academic journal dedicated to the study of global governance (i.e., and numerous websites, e.g.,


Like many fashionable terms in the social world, global governance has all too often escaped critical evaluation. Although there is no consensus on the meaning of this term, it seems to rest on at least two conventional wisdoms. First, globalization is an unstoppable, omnipotent, and neutral (desirable) force stemming from some sort of external source (such as the market). Second, there appear to be pre-existing and commonly shared values and norms across various cultural, political, economic, and social spaces. These sentiments on global governance run through the discourses of many powerful international organizations and fora, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, the World Economic Summit, Group of Twenty (G20) Summits, Global Climate Summits, the United Nations Global Compact, and so forth – all of which have immediate impact on the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people in the global North and global South.


Despite its popularity and centrality to contemporary economic, environmental, social and political life, global governance remains under-theorized. For example, we might ask: Who benefits from global governance? Whose values are being promoted, and why? Who is to be governed, and why? What roles have (neoliberal) states and markets played in the construction and reproduction of global governance? Which interests and ‘spaces’ are excluded, and why? How are we to make sense of global governance in the larger, multi-disciplinary frame of global political economy? And, finally, how are we to understand the relevance of global governance with regard to North-South relations, i.e., questions of development?




Taught concurrently with DEVS 804/3.0.


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 494/3.0, DEVS 804/3.0.

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DEVS 495 / 805 (seminar)/3.0 – Winter

Instructor:   Alexandre Da Costa

Course Title: Race in Development

This course provides students with a critical historical perspective and the theoretical tools to analyze the integral role racial and ethnic differences play within capitalist development. From the colonial and post/colonial reproduction and contestation of domination, hierarchy, and inequality, to development’s recent turn to race, ethnicity, and culture as a means of inclusion, we explore the diverse ways such "differences" gets deployed within development discourses and practices. The course is especially attentive to the ways in which race and ethnicity structure power, privilege, and knowledge production, and considers the implications this has for re-thinking development theory and practice.


Taught concurrently with DEVS 805/3.0.


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 495/3.0, DEVS 805/3.0.

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DEVS 496 / 806 (seminar)/3.0 – Fall

Instructor:  Marcus Taylor   

Course Title: Climate Change and Global Development

Over the past decade, the spectre of anthropogenic climate change has increasingly cast a shadow over debates in development studies. It is widely accepted that climate change mitigation – the reduction of CO2 emissions – will not be rapid enough in timeframe or sufficient enough in scale to avoid significant global warming. In its impact on hydroclimatic phenomena, climate change will have manifest social implications particularly in regions of the global South characterised by significant dependence on agriculture for livelihoods, insufficient physical infrastructure and overburdened public institutions. In response, measures to promote climate change adaptation are seen as requiring immediate mainstreaming within national policymaking and international development initiatives to safeguard material wellbeing and social identity . However, there is significant disagreement on what successful adaptation involves, how it should be fostered and who should promote and finance it. This course overviews these debates in both the academic and policy literature. We examine the many projected impacts of climate change, their differentiated impact upon societies, and current public policy responses to them. With a specific focus on questions of equity, we examine how vulnerability to climate change impacts is socially constructed and how such vulnerability manifests itself in different social spaces, from the rural to the urban. As such, the course seeks to balance focus on the broad analytical questions surrounding vulnerability, resilience and adaptation with case studies drawn from a wide range of countries across the global South.


Taught concurrently with DEVS 809/3.0.


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 496/3.0, DEVS 806/3.0.


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DEVS 497 / 807 (seminar)/3.0 – Winter

Instructor:  Dia Da Costa

Course Title: Education: A Contradictory Resource

Following international conferences in the 1990s, development research and governance institutions joined in the call for Education for All characterized by a massive institutional push to increase primary school enrollment in the developing world. This course takes a critical and theoretical look at one of the most powerful and enduring ideas of development - that education is a first step to progress and freedom from poverty. A range of social theorists such as Paul Willis, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Paulo Freire, Martha Nussbaum, and Amartya Sen help explore whether schooling is an inevitable good, a tool for hegemonic domination, or a contradictory resource. Rather than view education as an autonomous historical force we situate education in social and subjective power relations. We read accounts of various contexts of schooling from working class British schools, Dalit schooled men in north India, postcolonial schooling, and educating development workers. Each context and experience of schooling generates questions about the multiple ideological and practical purposes, uses, and outcomes of education—from learning to divide the world to producing the good citizen and worker. Understanding the significant role of education in reproducing inequality and imperialism is juxtaposed with explorations of philosophies and existing practices of critical, transformative pedagogies.

Taught concurrently with DEVS 807/3.0 .


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 497/3.0, DEVS 807/3.0.

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DEVS 498/808/3.0 (Seminar) - Fall

Instructor:  Richard Day

Course Title: - Autonomy-Oriented Social Movements in the Americas: Changing the World Without Taking Power?


This course will focus on the theory, strategy, and tactics that guide certain 'autonomy-oriented' movements for social change in the Americas, i.e. those that work within and against, as well as outside of, the dominant neoliberal order, to create sustainable alternatives to it. It will include in-depth study of examples drawn from both settler and indigenous societies, as well as those working on the precarious boundaries between them.


In order to understand the specificity of autonomy-oriented movements, the course will begin with a quick overview of the colonization of the Americas, as well as a discussion of social movement theory, strategy, and tactics, using a rough periodization based on the dominant mode of social change advocated during each period: from revolution-oriented (modern marxism, anarchism, anarchist feminism1850s-1950s) to reform oriented ('new' social movements of the 1960s-1980s) to (autonomy-oriented) 'newest' social movements of the 90s and 00s.


We will draw primarily from autonomist marxist, postcolonial, anarchist, feminist, and indigenist theory and practice, with a particular focus on anarcha-indigenism, an emerging discourse that explores resonances and dissonances between the latter three traditions. Case studies will include the Zapatista autonomous zones, land reclamations by the Tyendinaga Mohawk and Six Nations at Caledonia, autonomous neighbourhoods in Argentina, and the unitierra 'campuses' in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.


We will explore various questions that have been raised by the theory and practice of these movements, such as: the debate over the efficacy of autonomy-oriented vs. counter-hegemonic strategies for social change; the need for 'unity' vs. 'plurality' in making another world possible; the centrality of some particular oppression, such as class, vs. a politics of anti-oppression; failures and successes in the formation of concrete solidarities across groups and movements; the viability/value of insurrectionary practices.


Taught concurrently with DEVS 808/3.0 .


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 498/3.0, DEVS 808/3.0.


DEVS 499/830 - 3.0 – Winter

Instructor:    Villia Jefremovas

Course Title: Rural Development  

This course is a survey of selected issues in rural development, natural resource management, and highlights the role of communities, NGOs, the State and indigenous peoples in the form that development takes. Starting from the premise that what we consider to be development and how it is to be achieved determines the nature of the interventions in rural development, we will consider the role of assumptions in defining the nature of trusteeship; the problems to be solved by ‘development;’ the construction of the projects or policies; the boundaries within which those projects are effected; the conceptualization of the beneficiaries of development/policy -discussing the ‘community’ and the ‘individual’- and the conceptualization of the state and authority in the models under discussion. In doing so we will also reflect on the impact of these assumptions on the outcome of interventions, -intended and unintended, successes and failures- and examine the limits of decision and choice, drawing from commonalities and differences over time and place. We will look at these issues and examples in the context of the interactions between economics, politics, society, and culture using a political economy perspective, that is to say, in terms of the relationships between north and south, between genders and between people of different socio-economic strata. This course will not view development as if it began in 1945, but will see it as beginning in the late 18th c in Europe and the colonial world during which time the first purposive plans to transform society were implemented, so colonial policy will be an integral aspect of our discussion.


Taught concurrently with DEVS 499/3.0 .


PREREQUISITE  Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan, or permission of the Department.


EXCLUSION No more than 3.0 units from DEVS 499/3.0, DEVS 830/3.0.

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DEVS 501/6.0 Honours Thesis in Development Studies

The course will involve a critical review of the literature on a clearly-defined topic relevant to development, a synthesis of ideas, and a final thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.


NOTE The student must pay a modest fee for the binding of the departmental copy. The estimated cost is $20.


NOTE The student must identify a willing supervisor from DEVS or a cognate department and receive permission of the Department of Global Development Studies.


PREREQUISITES Minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.50 and Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan.




501 Approval form (PDF 7KB)


501 Course outline (PDF 28 KB)


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DEVS 502/3.0 Directed Readings in Development Studies

This course enables a student or a group of students to explore a body of literature on a selected topic in development. The focus may be by theme, by region or by academic approach and can span the humanities, social sciences and environmental sciences. NOTE The students are responsible for approaching a professor with whom they wish to work and who is willing to undertake this project.


PREREQUISITES Minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.50 and Level 4 and registration in the DEVS Major or Medial Plan.


502 Approval form (PDF 7KB)


502 Course outline (PDF 21KB)


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Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000