Canada in the World

DEVS 102/3.0


Canada in the World will help students build knowledge and analytical capacities in global development, with a focus on Canada. The course examines how processes of global development are differentiated across borders and axes of gender, racialization, and colonization. Students will explore applications of theories of global change.

DEVS 102: Canada in the World will help students build a foundation of knowledge and analytical skills to pursue a degree in Global Development Studies, or related disciplines. This course will encourage students to locate themselves in processes of global development by examining the ways in which people participate in development across borders and political divides, and along axes of gender, racialization and colonization. We will ground our analysis by bringing Canada to the forefront of our framing. The course will discuss how Canada has been shaped by global processes of development, while simultaneously asking how Canada participates in global development. To do so, the course grounds learning in a respect for stolen Indigenous lands and lives and will by thinking through settler colonialism, past and present.  

In Part One of this course, we will build our analysis of how processes of global development are differentiated across axes of gender, racialization, colonization and the so-called global south/north divide. While this list is certainly not exhaustive of the axes of power that shape people’s lives and experiences of development, it will provide us with a starting point to think through fundamental questions of development. These include: who are the actors of development and who are the subjects, or who is doing the development and who is being developed? How is who we are shaped by where we are and how does who we are shape where we can go? How do social, political, economic, and geographic markers of difference shape who gets what (distribution), and who makes what (production) and how (social relations)?  

In Part Two, we will focus our analytical lens on Canada, asking both Canada has “developed” globally and how Canada approaches global development. We will situate the establishment of the Canadian settler state in both the longstanding Indigenous relations to the land of Turtle Island and the global power relations that have shaped which bodies move to Canada, why and how. We will destabilize mainstream approaches to Canadian development by centring Indigenous resurgence and modes of life. And, building on the approaches to development you learned about in Term One, we will look at the history of Canadian approaches to “international development”.  

In Part Three, students will explore applications of theories of global change and development. We will examine how global actors try to make change at different scales, from home and community to various levels of government to global social movements and international organizations. We will focus on climate change as a global problem that requires multiple and dynamic action at different scales and through different contexts. In the final week, students will put their year’s learning to work by sharing proposals for “just ecological transitions”.

Learning Outcomes

To complete the course, students will demonstrate their ability to

  • Identify and explain social, political economic and ecological axes of inequality in global development
  • Explain key themes in Canada’s role in global development
  • Apply critical thinking to case studies and written assignments
  • Collaboratively develop and present strategies for addressing global problems
  • Communicate effectively in written and oral format, with a focus on presentation strategies.


  • Unit 1 – Introduction  
  • Unit 2 – Gender & Development
  • Unit 3 – Culture, “Race,” & Development
  • Unit 4 – Case Study: Economic Inequality in the University Setting
  • Unit 5 – Canada & Settler Colonialism  
  • Unit 6 – Indigenous Resurgence
  • Unit 7 – Canada & Global Development
  • Unit 8 – Canada and Resource Extraction
  • Unit 9 – Development for Whom?
  • Unit 10 – Theories of Change & Changemaking  
  • Unit 11– Climate Change & Changemaking 


Summer (May–July) 2024
Course Dates
Exam Dates (if applicable)
Delivery Mode


5% - Academic Writing Exercise
10% - How do I fit in Global Development
15% - Case Study Analysis: Economic Inequality in the University System
15% - Reflection on Settler Colonialism (Multimedia Format)
20% - Case Study Analysis: Canada and Development (Essay Format)
15% - Class Symposium - Just Transitions (Part 1: Video Presentation)
20% - Class Symposium - Just Transitions (Part 2: Written Analysis)

*Evaluation subject to change*

Textbook and Materials

All reading materials are provided online within the course resources as part of a comprehensive online learning platform. 

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 hours a week (120 hours total) on the course.