Compulsory Courses


Trimester 1

Development Theory and Practice

This course focuses on the concept of development, development theories and aspects of practices in the real world. Equally important is the interplay between theory and practice and the outcome of this relationship. The course provides a comprehensive survey of development thinking from ‘classical’ development ideas to alternative and postdevelopment theories. The course then attempts to critically review contemporary debates about development, including the link between modernity and development, participation, empowerment, gender and the role of the development practitioner.

Credit: 3

 

Research Methodology in Development Studies

This course introduces students to a variety of research methods and techniques currently used in social research. It also aims to expose students to as many methods and techniques as possible and to encourage them to apply such methods in development studies-related research. Discussions in the class cover both quantitative and qualitative methods, such as statistical techniques, analysis of quantitative data, exploratory research, social surveys, interviewing, participant-observation, focus group discussion, tracing family’s and community’s histories, fieldwork, planning and action-related research, and documentary research. All this, in other words, can be roughly categorized into two sets: those relating to the conventional social research and those to development-related issues. Guest lecturers are experienced researchers who will provide background, insights and tips on research methods, data analysis, research application and research conducting-related difficulties.

Credit: 3

 

Trimester 2

Globalization and Development in Asia and the Pacific

Examination of globalization, its socio-economic consequences, and their implications for state power and governance; focusing on the relationship between politics and economy and the interplay of domestic societies and transnational and international forces, opportunities and tensions arising from increasing cross-border transactions and spillovers, differences within and among countries, the autonomy of governments, the changing function of the state, and international governance based on the principle of nation-state sovereignty; analysis of globalization and limits to politics, and impacts on the nature of governance.

Credit: 3

 

Politics of Public Policy

This course aims to introduce students to key concepts of public policy and to familiarise students with the underlying structure and dynamics of public policy processes. It also examines definitions and basic ideas of non-state actors, collective actions of social and political movements, and interest and pressure groups in the public policy process. Selected cases drawn from various policy areas of developmental concern will be examined using a number of analytical approaches to critically discuss each process of formulation, implementation, and evaluation. A substantial part of the course will emphasise the political dimensions of the multiple roles that various actors play in the policy process, particularly their impact on agenda setting and policy implementation, including case studies of civil society organisations and people's participation in political and social change.

Credit: 3

 

Thesis

 

Credit: 3

 

Trimester 3

Thesis

 

Credit: 9


Elective Courses


Trimester 1

Development Project Management

The course provides an introduction to skills and techniques which are commonly seen as basic in the management of development projects. They include: project conception; logical frameworks; qualitative and quantitative surveys for needs and impact assessment; cost-benefit analysis; ethical standards and systems of accountability; budgets and financial control; and the writing of proposals and reports. But alongside promoting competence in these, the course explores the intrinsic flaws and biases in such practices, asking what the broader developmental implications are of carving out projects amenable to management. The aim is to help students become potential employees who can work effectively in development organizations, but who are also reflective and critical people rather than functionaries of a system. At the same time the course should be of value to aspiring scholars and policy-makers who wish to be able to relate questions of the power and effectiveness of aid to its established practices and the problems which beset them.

Credit: 3

 

Environmental Politics and Policy

This course explores the key environmental challenges facing people and the planet, and the rise of the environment as a policy and a political issue. The course begins by critically discussing the range of ethics and ideological positioning towards the environment, from survivalism to preservationism to promethianism. Environmental policy-making and the principles and practice of environmental governance at the local, national and global scale will be thoroughly discussed, identifying the role, positioning and strategies of the key actors involved. Environmental issues, including natural resource use (forests, rivers…), energy, and global warming will be explored, illustrated with case studies from within Southeast Asia and globally. We will use the tools of political ecology, for example common property theory and theories on science, power and knowledge, to help us integrate our understanding of society’s economic, political and cultural interactions with the environment. Overall, we will seek to define and refine our understanding of “sustainable development,” and ask whether it is possible to achieve a form of “sustainable development” that encompasses economic growth, environmental protection and social justice?

Credit: 3

 

Human Rights and Gender Problems in Asia and the Pacific

Application of theories of gender and human rights to contemporary ethical and social issues arising from “development”; exploring specific and controversial topics in the areas of poverty, social justice, individual and group rights, administration of justice, living standards, work, bio-ethics and genetics, environment, sexual and racial equality, child labour, mental health, illness, human and social security, energy, corruption, Asian values, and cultural diversity; linking these specific and practical areas into gender and human rights questions relevant to the experiences of East and Southeast Asia.

Credit: 3

 

Trimester 2

Conflict Resolution

The aim of this course is to enable students to better understand the courses and the complexity of conflicts. It will also expose the students to major conflict resolutions and conditions need to be taken into considerations. The objectives are as follows:

  • To provide a comprehensive framework for conflict analysis.
  • To explore approaches to and frameworks of peaceful conflict resolution.
  • To investigate the role and relationship of development and conflicts.

Key fields:

  • understanding conflicts in an increasingly globalised society, focusing particularly on intra-state conflict between the state and the people in state formation and development processes;
  • analysis of conflicts as an important step to resolutions, including evaluation of roots causes, dynamics, impacts and consequences of conflicts;
  • the relationship between development and conflicts with an emphasis on the role of globalisation in shaping the nature of conflicts and resolutions;
  • observation of the use of violence in conflict processes and exploration of various possibilities of peaceful conflict resolution including problem solving, mediation, negotiation, and mechanisms in democratic decision-making process.

The course uses interactive teaching methods and extended case studies. It deals with real world context as well as theory, aiming to equip students with practical skills and understanding whilst also promoting a critical approach. Case studies and theory are relevant to current challenges in Southeast Asia, whilst also appreciating problems elsewhere

Credit: 3

 

Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia

New ways of thinking about poverty and its alleviation in Southeast Asia; principles, policy planning, technology and innovative methods for inclusive development; work collaboration between students and organizations as guidelines for effective solution to problems related to poverty.

Credit: 3

 

Migration as a Development Issue

Approaches to international migration, migration systems and migration policies. The nature of flows and patterns of population movements in the region and major types of mobility are discussed. Students learn about issues in international migration and their implications for regional economic, social and political stability, policy cooperation as well as multiculturalism and development.

Credit: 3

 

Development Practicum

 

An opportunity for practical applications of previously studied development theories, conceptual frameworks and methodologies, including analysis of problems and needs assessment, project development and innovation, assessment and evaluation, and problem-solving activities. Students will be temporarily working with development organizations on a mutually agreed subject.

Credit: 3

 

Urban Development and Water Resource Management (not available every year)

Main characteristics of various issues and dimension of the effects of urban development and water resource management; the link between the urban and water systems during the time of speedy urban development and changes world, effective guidelines of collaborating with communications for solutions to the problems.

Credit: 3