RHI-10506 Introduction to International Development Studies


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. EHP Frankema
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. EHP Frankema
TS Grooten
Examiner(s)prof. dr. EHP Frankema

Language of instruction:



This course offers a historical and geographical introduction into the major themes of global economic, political, social, demographic and environmental development. Topics such as the Industrial Revolution, global inequality, colonialism and the emergence of the nation-state are assessed from empirical as well as theoretical perspectives. The course critically reflects on global development issues from various spatial perspectives, including the use of both quantitative analyses and qualitative observations. The course questions so-called 'strategies of development' and introduces the key institutions in global governance. The course offers frequent links to actuality and media coverage of topics related to international development studies. Students will be introduced into the critical assessment of scholarly literature, as well as the use of the Wageningen digital environment and the Wageningen library.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- name themes of international development studies and employ basic academic concepts to study these themes; 

- explain the process of globalization as a heterogeneous historical process, containing dimensions of economic, political, social, demographic and environmental development; 

- explain contemporary events and developments from their historical and spatial context; 

- acknowledge the importance of academic reasoning and foundation with arguments, and put this into practice;

- acquire and process information using the Wageningen Digital Library; 

- apply the rules for proper scientific referencing.


- lectures;
- study, tutorials.
It is expected that the student will prepare the relevant literature for the lectures, that he/she participates actively in the discussions, and does the weekly assignments.


- weekly assignments and participation in the tutorials (10%);
- paper testing writing skills and proper referencing (20%);
- written exam with open essay questions (70%).
Both the written exam and the short paper need a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Potter, R., Binns, T., Elliot, J., Nel, E., and Smith, D. (2018). Geographies of Development: An Introduction to Development Studies. 4th. ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 636p.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBSc1AF
Compulsory for: WUDPGBSc Minor Development, Policies and Globalization1MO