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Social Science 2800 6.0A
Development: Comparative and Historical Perspective

Winter 2006 Class Room: Tel 0001
Instructor: Dr. Fahimul Quadir Tuesdays 12:30-2:30
Tel: 66937
E-mail: fquadir@yorku.ca
Office: 323 Founders College
Office Hours: Tuesdays: 9:30 to 11-30 and by appointment

TA: Mawahib Ahmed
Office: South Ross 727

Office Hours: Tuesdays: 10: 30 to 11: 30 am
E-mail: mawahib@yorku.ca

TA: David da Silva
Office: South Ross 727

Office Hours: Fridays: 12: 15 to 1: 15 pm


Our discussion for this term will center around three major themes: key developmental issues and challenges, development alternatives, and the prospects for democracy and development at the grassroots in the new millennium.

The structure of the class for this term will remain the same as the last semester. We will continue to organize it around two separate weekly sessions, namely lectures and tutorial meetings. Every Tuesday the class will meet for two hours for lectures of the topic at hand. These lectures are designed to offer thought-provoking and engaging analysis of the complex dynamics of poverty and human development in the twenty-first century. By contrast, every Tuesday the tutorial groups will meet for an hour not only to strengthen our understanding of the field of International Development but also to explore policy alternatives that development thinkers/activists/researchers must tackle in the near future. In both sessions, the class-members will be able to respond to a broad range of critical issues and challenges facing the world today.


Please review the previous outline (Fall 2005) for a detailed description of grading and assignments.

The final essay will be due on or before February 21, 2006. The essays will be graded on the basis of the content (relevance, accuracy, comprehensiveness and concepts will be examined very carefully), research (Issues that will be examined: quality of research, the use of alternative source materials and the appropriate use of citations. NO ONE SHOULD USE MORE THAN TWO PURE WEB SOURCES), presentation/organization (be sure to aim for clarity, use a standard essay format and avoid grammatical mistakes) and analysis (How well the case is presented? Does it make an effort to provide a balanced overview? Are the arguments substantiated with empirical evidence?).

I would strongly encourage you to contact us if you have any further questions about your essay.

Please note that plagiarism is an academic crime. No one will be allowed to paraphrase or copy the words of other authors without providing appropriate citation.


We will continue to use both the edited volume by Desai and Potter and the Course Kit as main source materials for this term.

  • Vandana Desai and Robert B. Potter (eds.), The Companion to Development Studies (NY: Oxford University Press, 2000)
  • The Course Kit

In addition to these two major "course materials", we will also draw our analysis from the use of a few other relevant books/articles, including Paul Harrison, Inside the Third World : the anatomy of poverty , 3 rd edition (London, Penguin, 1993), which can be accessed through Scott's reserve facilities.


The course will be using the following documentaries during the Winter term of 2006:


  1. Three people a Second (Jan 17, 2006);
  2. The Politics of Food (January 24, 2006);
  3. The Virtual Westland (January 31, 2006);
  4. Trees, Toilets and Transformation (February 7, 2006);
  5. The Faces of AIDs (February 21, 2006);
  6. South Africa: Freedom in our Lifetime (February 28, 2006);
  7. Beyond McWorld: Challenging Corporate Rule (March 7, 2006);
  8. Gender and Enduring Paradox (March 14, 2006);
  9. Women’s Bank of Bangladesh (March 28, 2006).

Section Three: Development Issues and Challenges

Week One

Agriculture: The Green Revolution

Desai and Potter, Chs. 3.3 & 3.6

Shiva, Vandana, The Violence of the Green Revolution: Third World agriculture, ecology and politics (London: Zed Books, 1990), pp. 171-93.*

Recommended :

  • Paul Harrison, Inside the Third World : the anatomy of poverty , 3 rd edition (London, Penguin, 1993), chs. 4-6.
  • Conwat, Gordon R. and Edward B. Barbier, After the Green Revolution: sustainable agriculture for development (London: Earthscan Publications, 1990).


Week Two

Population Growth, Reproductive Rights, and Fertility Control

Desai & Potter, Chs. 7.10, 7.11, 7.12 and 7.13

Recommended :

  • Bandarage, Asoka, Women, Population and Global Crisis: a political-economic analysis (London: Zed Books, 1997).
  • Bandarage, Asoka, "Population and Development: Toward a Social Justice Agenda", Monthly Review 273(2), February 1994, pp. 40-75
  • Harrison , chs. 13-14 and pages 460-64.
  • Bondestam, Lars, "The Political Ideology of Population Control", in Alavi and Shanin (eds.), Introduction to the Sociology of "Developing" Societies , pp. 252-59.
  • Bonagarats, John, "Can the Growing Human Population Feed Itself", Scientific American 263(3), March 1994, pp. 36-47.
  • Keyfitz, Nathan, "The Growing Human Population", Scientific American 258(9), September 1987, pp. 119-126.
  • Hong, Evelyne, "Behind the Population Debate", Third World Resurgence 16, December 1991, pp. 17-18.
  • Ramprasad, Vanaja, "Inequalities, Not Population Growth the Real Reason for Hunger", Third World Resurgence 16, December 1991, pp. 19-20.


Week Three

Food and Famine

Desai & Potter , Ch. 3.4

Sen, Amartya, "Food, Economics and Entitlement" in Dreze and Sen (eds.), The Political Economy of Hunger , pp. 34-52.*

Recommended :

  • Harrison , pp. 452-9.
  • Sobhan, Rehman, "The Politics of Hunger and Entitlement" in Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen (eds.), The Political Economy of Hunger vol 1. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 79-113.
  • George, Susan, How the Other Half Dies: the real reason for world hunger (London: Penguin, 1977), pp. 192-213.
  • Wheeler, Erica, "To Feed or to Educate: labeling in targeted nutrition interventions", Development and Change 16(3), July 1985, pp. 475-83.
  • Glanz, Michael H., "Drought in Africa ", Scientific American 256(6), June 1987, pp. 34-40.


Week Four

Technology and Development: The Digital Divide

Desai & Potter, Chs. 4.8 and 7.8

Wade, Robert Hunter, "Bridging the Digital Divide: new route to development or new form of dependency", Global Governance 8(4): October-December 2002: 443-66.*

Recommended :

  • Ullrich, Otto, "Technology", in Sachs, Wolfgang (ed.), The Development Dictionary: a guide to knowledge as power (London: Zed, 1992), pp. 275-87. Lal, Sanjay, "Promoting Technology Development: the role of technology transfer and indigenous effort", Third World Quarterly 14(1), 1993, pp. 95-108.
  • Crewe Emma, and Elizabeth Harrison, Whose Development? An ethnography of aid (London: Zed, 1998), pp. 91-112.
  • Bhagavan, M.R., The Technological Transformation of the Third World : strategies and prospects (London: Zed Books, 1990), pp. 1-24.
  • Smillie, Ian, Mastering the Machine: poverty, aid and technology (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991), pp. 65-81.
  • Feld, Werner J, "The Transfer of Technology to Third World Countries: political problems and international ramifications" in Betz, Matthew J. et al. (eds.), Appropriate Technology: choice and development (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1984), pp.49-66.


Week Five

Perspectives on Environment and Development

Desai & Potter, Chs. 6.1, 6.2. 6.3

Recommended :

  • Desai & Potter, Chs. 6.4 and 6.5
  • Harrison , ch. 7.
  • Bartelmus, Peter, Environment, Growth and Development: the concepts and strategies of sustainability (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 1-30.
  • Rist, Gilbert, The History of Development (London: Zed, 1997), pp. 171-96.
  • Adams, Bill, "Sustainable Development and the Greening of Development Theory", in Schuurmna, Frans J (ed.), Beyond the Impasse: New Directions in Development Theory (London: Zed, 1993), pp. 207-22.
  • Pearce, David W. and R. Kerry Turner, Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), pp. 3-28.
  • Pepper, David, The Roots of Modern Environmentalism (London: Routledge: 1989).
  • Inamdar, N.R., "Environmentalism and Development", The Indian Journal of Public Administration 35(3), July-September, 1989, pp. 353-60.


Week Six:

Reading Week-no class meeting

Week Seven:

Health and Development

Desai and Potter, Chs. 8.2, 8.3 & 8.4

MacAdam, Murray , "Beating AIDS in Africa ", in Kelly, Sean (ed.), Possible Worlds (Halifax, CUSO, 2004), pp. 90-96*.



Section Four: In Search of Alternatives

Week Eight

Redefining the Role of the State: Civil Society

Desai & Potter, Chs. 10.5

Swift, Jamie, "Unpacking the Conceptual Ragbag", in Civil Society in Question (Toronto: Between the Lines, 1999).*

Recommended :

  • Bratton, Michael, "Beyond the State: civil society and associational life in Africa ", World Politics 41(3), April, 1989, pp. 407-30
  • Walzer, Michael, "The Idea of Civil Society", Dissent Spring 1991, pp. 293-303.
  • Cohen, Jean L. and Andrew Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992).
  • Frantz, Telmo R., "The Role of NGOs in the Strengthening of Civil Society", World Development 15, Supplement, 1987, pp. 121-27.
  • Ignatieff, Michael, "On Civil Society: why Eastern European's revolutions could succeed", Foreign Affairs 74(2), March-April 1995, pp. 128-36.
  • Renshaw, Laura Roper, "Strengthening Civil Society: the role of NGOs", Development 4, 1994, pp. 46-49.


Week Nine

Globalization from below: The Political Economy of Resistance

Munck, Ronaldo, "Global Civil Society: myths and prospects", in Taylor, Rupert (ed.), Creating a Better World: interpreting global civil society ( Bloomfield , CT : Kumarian, 2004), pp. 13-26.*

Brecher, Jeremy and Tim Costello, Global Village or Global Pillage: economic reconstruction from the bottom up 2 nd edition (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1998), pp. 83-102 .*


  • Chin, Christine B.N. and James H. Mittelman, "Conceptualizing Resistance to Globalization", in Barry K. Gills (ed.), Globalization and the Politics of Resistance ( London : Macmillan, 2000), pp. 29-45.
  • Kriesi, Hanspeter and Donatella della Porta (eds.), Social Movements in a Globalizing World (London: Macmillan, 1999), pp. 3-39.
  • Thomas, Caroline and Peter Wilkin (eds.), Globalization and the South (London: Macmillan, 1997), pp. 1-35.
  • Amin, Samir, "Social Movements at the Periphery", in Wignaraja, Ponna, (ed.), New Social Movements in the South (London: Zed Books, 1993), pp. 76-100.
  • Schuurman, Frans J., "Modernity, Post-modernity and the New Social Movements", in Frans J. Schuurman, (ed.), Beyond the Impasse: new directions in development theory (London: Zed Books, 1993), pp. 187-205.
  • Ekins, Paul, A New World Order: grassroots movements for global change (London: Routledge, 1992).


Week Ten

Emerging Development Paradigms I: Feminist and Gender Perspectives on Development

Desai and Potter Chs. 7.1, 7.4 & 7.5


  • Desai and Potter Chs. 7.2, 7.3, 7.6 & 7.7
  • Marchand, Marianne, "Reconceptualising 'Gender and Development' in an Era of 'Globalization'", Millennium 25(3), 1996, pp. 577-603.
  • Sassen, Saskia, Globalization and its Discontents (New York: The New Press, 1998), pp. 81-109
  • Thomas-Emeagwali, Gloria, "Introductory Perspectives: Monetarists, Liberals and Radicals: contrasting perspectives on gender and structural adjustment", in Thomas-Emeagwali (ed.), Women Pay the Price: structural adjustment in Africa and the Caribbean (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1995), 1-12.
  • Marchand, Mariane and Anne Sisson Runyan, Gender and Global Restructuring: sightings, sites, and resistances ( London : Routledge, 2000)


Week Eleven

Emerging Development Paradigms II: Sustainable Human Development and Human Security

Desai and Potter Chs. 8.6 & 8.7

UNDP, Human Development Report 1994 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 22-40.


Haq, Mahbub Ul, Reflections on Human Development (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 76-92.*


  • Plewes, Betty et al, "Sustainable Human Development as a Global Framework", International Journal , Spring 1996, pp. 211-34.
  • Kothari, Rajni, Rethinking Development: in search of human alternatives (New Delhi: Ajanta Publications, 1988), pp. 3-21.
  • Korten, David C. and Rudi Klauss (eds.), People-centered Development: contributions towards theory and planning frameworks (West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 1984).


Section Five: Promoting Development at the Grassroots

Week Twelve

NGOs and the Future of Democratic Development

Desai and Potter Chs. 10.6, 10.8 & 10.11

Recommended :

  • Desai and Potter Chs. 10.7, 10.9 & 10.12
  • Clark , John, Democratizing Development: the role of voluntary organizations (Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 1991), pp. 34-51.
  • Korten, David C., "Third Generation NGO Strategies: A Key to People-centred Development", World Development 15, Supplement, 1987, pp. 145-59.
  • Fowler, Alan, Striking a Balance: a guide to enhancing the effectiveness of NGOs in international development (London: Earthscan, 1997), pp. 20-39.


Week Thirteen

Empowering the Poor through Micro-finance Programs

Khandker, Shahidur, Fighting Poverty with Microcredit: experience in Bangladesh (Dhaka: University Press, 1998), pp. 1-15.*

Holcombe, Susan, Managing to Empower: the Gameen Bank's experience of poverty alleviation (London: Zed Books, 1995), pp. 36-56.*


  • Versluysen, Eugene, Defying the Odds: banking for the poor (West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 1999), pp. 3-61
  • Wright, Graham A.N., Microfinance Systems: designing quality financial services for the poor ( Dhaka : University Press, 2000), pp. 3-40
  • Wahid, Abu N.M. , "The Grameen Bank and Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh : theory, evidence and limitations", The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 53 (1), January 1994, pp. 1-15.


Final Exam: The Registrar's office will schedule a date for the final exam during the examination period.

*Please note that articles/book chapters with an asterisk mark are included in the Course Kit .