A Constituent Institute of the University of Allahabad

About the course

‘Development in the sense of social, economic and political change is happening all the time, everywhere’. It concerns all peoples in the world with diverse beliefs, value systems, cultures and practices and calls for ensuring basic capabilities and freedoms that people need to lead satisfying lives. Billions of people have been left behind in the development process over the last 50 or 60 years, the period when development was capitalized and turned into something more intentional than change alone. Consequently, for many, development is something that governments and private companies direct, perhaps, on their own or in combination with leading international agencies. Development is thus both an immanent, evolutionary process as well as a process with intentionality. Questions arise about the historicity of development - who directed development, under what circumstances and in whose interest? And how intentionality of the state is conditioned by history and affects development in the contemporary world? These and several other related questions are the subject matter of Development Studies.

This course shall trace the critical genealogy of development and critique the unilinear periodizations of the evolution of the discipline. The mainstream macroeconomic discourse on development shall include determinants of growth, growth models, human capital accumulation, globalization, trade policy, debt, corruption, environment and growth. Microeconomic issues shall include health and education, land contracts, intrahousehold resource allocation, labour markets and child labour, credit rationing and micro finance, risk and insurance, agricultural innovation and marketing. Simultaneously, the Development Studies shall also include discourses of the margin: narratives, concepts, ideologies and signifying practices; critiquing modes of representations, identities, and culture. Specifically, origins of post colonialism, postcolonial theory and development, discourses of development and the power of epresentation, knowledge and power and agency in development, Marxism and feminism shall also be studied.

Development Studies shall thus explore the multi-disciplinary debates structured around different readings of the roles played by markets, empire, nature and difference in the organization of world affairs as well as the non dominant knowledge perspectives of development and community and society based indigenous paradigms. Students will learn about development processes around the world from a multidisciplinary perspective. We shall analyse the Indian experience of development in greater details. The course will provide an opportunity for students to relate the international experience to the Indian context.

This is a two year course with course work in first year and a dissertation in second.