War, Identity and Society
This module is the companion module to HUPM03. It takes a pluri-disciplinary approach to understanding the impacts of war on society and vice-versa. The module evaluates the ways in which conflict changes and reshapes society and analyses the problems of war, its representations and its social outcomes. 'War' in thus not viewed solely in terms of military history, but rather through a broader context of changing social, economic and cultural trends both as a motor for change and as part of those broader changes.
The module is taught over a ten week period. The weekly two hour sessions include at least an hour of seminar style `teaching¿, to make sure that there is ample time for discussions, questions, student presentations, etc. Hence, it is expected of all students to read the compulsory reading for each session beforehand, so that meaningful discussions can take place.
Subject to the approval of the Departmental Dissertations Tutor, students will choose their own area for research. They will be given guidance on research skills and techniques and supervised by a specialist research topic supervisor during the research for, and writing of, their dissertation. Dissertation word length - 8000 words.
Researching Politics 2
This module offers students a valuable experience of both individual and collective research - as well as the opportunity to study in depth an important aspect of Politics and International Relations. Students extend and deepen the research undertaken in PO-396 Researching Politics 1 and continue to meet regularly in order to share ideas, opinions and sources. In these meetings, students evaluate, criticise and analyse issues concerning the topic under investigation. Minutes of the meetings are kept and the meetings are conducted with a view to arriving at a common position that will serve as the basis for producing a collectively authored report and presentation. Each student in the group also produces a shorter individual report on their own experience of Researching Politics, in the course of which they reflect on their individual contribution to the groups output. This self-assessment is validated by the other members of the group.
Individual research based, under the guidance of appointed supervisor.
Conceptual Issues In the Theory and Practice of Social Sciences
This module introduces MA students to philosophical and methodological issues relating to the possibilities, purpose and conduct of the social sciences. These issues are of great importance for the development of thinking about how to study political theory, political science or international relations. The intellectual reflection demanded by this module will feed into students¿ approaches to their work in the sub-disciplinary modules and dissertation.
The State of Africa
Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. It is the cradle of human kind and gave birth to one of history¿s first large civilizations. But despite its early start and its abundant natural resources, Africa remains the world's poorest and most underdeveloped continent. This course will provide an overview of the continent¿s historical developments as well as more contemporary ones. The first block of lectures will give the student an appreciation of Africa¿s diverse and complex history and will make clear the extent to which the continent is already connected to both Europe and Asia for many centuries, if not millennia. The second block will look at some of Africa¿s biggest challenges. For many, Africa ¿ and in particular Sub-Saharan Africa - is synonymous to armed conflict, devastating famines, the spread of deadly diseases and viruses (notably HIV/AIDS and malaria) and shocking poverty. The final two sessions look into the contemporary issues of governance, globalisation and economic development.
Rights-based Approaches to Development
Rights-based approaches to development (RBAD) are now part of a new orthodoxy with respect to policy and practice in support of international development. They have become popular in part because they provide a language for analysing poverty as a complex and multi-dimensional phenomena and for analysing governance as a process that responds directly to people¿s needs, entitlements and rights. They direct attention to aspects of poverty which have traditionally been neglected in development policy at national and international levels. This module examines
the background to rights-based approaches to development. Particular attention will is paid to the four separate arenas in which RBADs are now evident: development practice, development discourse; the policy commitments of donors and governments; and the obligations imposed on donors and governments by international human rights law. The module examines the implications of rights-based approaches for development policy and practice in the context of two contradictory phenomena: a system of international relations based on the principle of state sovereignty and the complex phenomenon of `globalis ation¿. Issues that arise in relation to the rights of indigenous peoples and children will be used as ways of examining the situation of vulnerable groups.
Violence, Conflict and Development
Violence and conflict have been enduring and widespread obstacles to the promotion of sustainable development throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, and the 21st century looks set to continue this pattern. This module examines the roots and causes of conflict and violence in developing nations and explores how and why such conflict emerge even between hitherto seemingly peacefully co-existing communities. The module asks what impact protracted and violent conflict can have upon development prospects and democratisation processes, and examines national and international responses to violence and conflict mediation processes and systems. The module also explores soome of the arguments surrounding the use of aid in conflict situations, and examines the extent to which development aid and emergency relief can assist in perpetuating a state of conflict.
Introduction to Development Studies
We are increasingly moving towards a globalised world. Nevertheless, there are still huge socio-economic and political differences between countries and within countries. A key question for many nations in the Global South is how to achieve inclusive and sustained socio-economic development and reduce poverty. Engineering solutions have and still are considered as essential in achieving this: building roads and bridges or providing water-pumps or electricity are seen as important ways to alleviate a nation and its people out of poverty. But at the same time it is recognized that just providing these solutions is not sufficient: education and training are equally important for development, as is for instance ensuring gender equality. The scholarly discipline of Development Studies has studied this important question of how to develop countries for the last 70 years or so. Over these decades many different models and approaches have been tried, by national governments but also by supra-national bodies such as the World Bank or the IMF as well as by Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society groups, such as Oxfam or Action-Aid. In this module an overview of Development as a planned intervention is provided, and the different development models and approaches are critically assessed. We also look ahead to the Sustainable Development Goals, which have replaced the Millennium Development Goals as the global agenda for development.
Socio-economic and political implications of engineering solutions
Engineering solutions are developed for what is often a highly complex socio-economic and political environment. For engineering solutions to be implemented in the Global South, unfamiliarity with the local culture and practices further adds to this complexity. Many sound solutions and interventions from an engineering perspective have failed to deliver the outcomes, or delivered unintended and non-preferred outcomes, because the engineers were not aware of this context (or choose to ignore it). This module will provide an introduction to the most common pitfalls and how these can be overcome. It then allows the students to get a hands-on experience with the complexity of the context in which their engineering solutions do take place, via an especially designed simulation exercise, making them aware of cultural barriers, conflicting political interests and policies and non-collaborative donor and state institutions.
Monitoring & Impact Evaluation for International Development
Engineering solutions are designed to make an impact in the real world, and for many engineering solutions for the developing world this impact is ultimately poverty reduction and enhancing the quality of people's lives. But how and when do we measure the anticipated impact of an intervention. When do we know if something really has worked and made a difference? And will thinking about the impact - and how to measure this - help us to better understand the present or pre-intervention state - the base-line condition. And equally important, once the intervention is under way, how can we ensure that all actors work according to plan and that both contingencies and unexpected developments are detected and dealt with rather than derailing the process. A rigorous and scientific approach to monitoring and evaluation is key to achieve the gold standard in development interventions.
Tools for International Development
This module is a practical skills-orientated course aimed at enhancing the planning and management capabilities of those already working in development or wishing to become development professionals. An important focus is on skills acquisition, and there is a strong emphasis on student-led learning, planning exercises, individual and group presentations, and case-study work. It is the only module open for non-engineers in the Semester 2 streams. It builds on some of skills acquired in Semester 2 module 'Monitoring & Impact Evaluation" but also introduces a whole set of new tools for international development, aimed to increase the success rate and impact of any development intervention, whether of an engineering nature or social or economic one.