SDC-35806 Politics of Development: State, Property and Resistance


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. JWM van Dijk
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. O Hospes
prof. dr. ir. JWM van Dijk
dr. FM Köhne
dr P de Zwart
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. JWM van Dijk

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ENP-30506 Theories on Politics and Governance

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis Environmental Policy, MSc Thesis Public Administration and Policy, MSc Thesis Sociology of Development and Change, MSc Thesis Rural and Environmental History.


This course aims to provide insights into manifestations of power in relation to development. It focuses on both long-term political processes and global-local interactions to explain the production and reproduction of social, economic and political inequalities. The course will be organised around three themes: state, the formation of property through global capitalism and strategies of resistance. State, statehood and property reflect the most salient hegemonic forms of power-relations, whereas resistance will be discussed as a central concept to focus on counter hegemonic forms of power relations. The various ways in which political struggles entail crucial developments such as state formation, (neo-)colonialism, the rise of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and resistance by social movements, will be analysed. We look at these processes in the context of the rise of global capitalism and how this has manifested itself in the global economy. People's access to natural resources and the way this plays out in various fields, such as land conflict and migration, will play a central role in our analysis.
We will examine present-day development issues by an analysis of how political actors such as local communities, states, NGOs, international, transnational and intergovernmental organizations use and produce law, policies and governance in various practices invested with power also within less institutionalized environments.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- distinguish and analyse how historically shaped and spatial-contextually specific manifestations of power, such as state, property and resistance, relate to development and produce and maintain social, political and economic inequality from global to local level;
- analyse how state, the formation of property and resistance relate to more overarching phenomena such as governmentality, legal pluralism and the rise of a global economy;
- critically reflect on the state, alternative forms of governance and strategies of local actors as factors in development issues in the context of increasing globalization as well as specific institutional environments;
- develop a research question in this domain and develop a basic research design linking problem statement, theory and methodology in a coherent framework.


Lectures and discussions, writing of research design with presentations peer review and tutorials.


- written open book exam on the literature and lectures (40%);
- presentation and powerpoint design (20%);
- writing of research outline (40%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Articles and book chapters.

Compulsory for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScD: Politics and Governance of Development5AF