RSO-21306 Policy, People and Resources in Comparative Perspective


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. JAB Duncan
Lecturer(s)dr. JAB Duncan
dr. ir. LA de Vries
Examiner(s)dr. JAB Duncan
dr. ir. PA de Vries
dr. ir. LA de Vries

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Agricultural and Rural Development: Sociological Perspectives.


This course is about politics: from the most obvious to the most opaque and fuzzy ways that politics organises everyday life. In politics there is often no single correct answer, no easy fix. Politics is about the interaction between actors with different levels of influence, and competing visions of the world. Interrogating politics allows for a deeper study of conflict, trade-offs, and power dynamics, such as those found in international development.
In this course, we pay particular attention to interventions in international development and to the mobilization of resources therein. In so doing, this course introduces students to a number of key concepts in political sociology and anthropology, focussing on concepts that seek to challenge common-sense understandings of the world. Throughout this course, students will make use of creative strategies to apply these concepts to current events to make the link between theory and practice.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the politics of interventions in international development;
- apply key concepts in from political sociology and anthropology to current events;
- explain the relation between resource mobilization and politics;
- analyse compare different approaches to politics and policy in relation to development, conflict, and democracy;
- critically assess the repercussions of these approaches from different perspectives.


- read all course materials as well as additional literature (e.g. newspapers, blogs, grey literature, etc.) in order to meaningfully participate in the course;
- actively participate in all course activities, including group sessions;
- in groups, organize sessions to apply the course theories and concepts to current events
- prepare individual assignments
- participate in the in-class debate.


- group work (30%);
- written exam with open questions (60%);
- participation (10%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Students are responsible for acquiring all course literature as outlined in the course guide. During the course, additional scientific articles and other materials will may be made available via blackboard.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBScA: Sociology of Development5AF