Minor in Development Studies

The Minor in Development Studies introduces you to the economic and political state of countries around the globe and how these interlink. You’ll begin with courses on the rich and poor, politics and culture and then you can choose 3 of 11 courses available in sustainable development, economics and a wide range of country-specific courses such as ‘Islam and the West’, ‘Power in the Americas’ and ‘Modern China.


When I signed up for Richmond little did I realise what an exceptional experience this would be; a multi-cultural bubble with fantastic faculty and inspiring students, all in the heart of London. The three years I spent at Richmond were not only invaluable but laid a strong foundation for both my personal development and professional career.

Programme Structure

Minor requirements – US Credits 18 – UK Credits 72

One of the following:


Provides students with an introduction to development studies, seeking to explain both the existence of and persistence of a Poor World from a political, sociological, historical and economic perspective. The course addresses numerous issues as they affect the Poor World, and studies relations both within and between Poor World and Rich World. Topics include colonialism and post-colonialism, processes of industrialization, food security, inequality, nationalism, aid, democratization, and conflict, as well as an introduction to theories of development.

Examines the global politics of development and of developing states, and various social, economic and environmental themes surrounding post-war attempts to promote development. The course will consider both development theory and practice in the context of globalization, and provide an overview of the history of global development from economic miracles to failed states. A range of contemporary development debates and issues are addressed.

plus any three of the following:

This course aims to look at how the Latin American region was shaped by and in turn helped shape the contours of the contemporary global order. It has three main inter-related objectives. The first seeks to understand what role the ‘invention’ of Latin America has had on the development of modernity, particularly in the North Atlantic region, but more generally at a global level. This will involve specifically looking at the emergence of European colonialism as implemented in the Latin American region, its role in the formation of modern capitalism and the resulting social impact this has had in indigenous and colonisers alike, particularly with regard to issues of social inequalities of class, race and gender. The second objective will involve looking at the nature of power structures within the region and how these have manifested themselves at an economic, political, and social level. Finally, the course will seek to assess Latin America’s role in the contemporary global context, paying particular attention to the implementation of and responses to neoliberal globalization within the region and what these experiences can offer our own societies in terms of seeking alternatives to dominant economic, political and social models.

Examines the theoretical assumptions and practical outcomes of ‘sustainable development’. The course explicitly focuses on the political, social and economic complexity of managing environmental issues in developing states. The tension between developmental and environmental issues is often a determining factor in the formation and implementation of policy at both national and international level, and sustainable development has provided a framework for managing these tensions.

This course discusses questions such as: ‘Why does the level of economic prosperity vary between countries? How is the difference itself to be measured? What is the range of measures available to improve the lot of the world’s poorest inhabitants? What role can organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank take in this process? On this course you will be exposed to a range of material designed to encourage you to link theory to the practical implications faced by policy makers and the policy choices they make.

Deals primarily with the politics of the Arab world, although Iran and Turkey are discussed where appropriate. Deals with issues of political and economic development in the region, as well as with geo-strategic and international concerns. This course is thematic rather than national in focus, and addresses issues such as nationalism, religion, revolution, democratization, gender politics, the politics of oil, and external influences on the Middle East.

Follows the attempt to promote stability, economic development, and democratic systems of government in sub-Saharan Africa, and engages with the core issue of the relationship between the state, civil society, and external interests in the region. The many social, political, economic and security problems that hamper the development project are addressed, by following a historical trajectory from the colonial era through to modern times.

This course focuses on the political evolution of the world’s first Communist state – its birth, development, collapse and recent transformation. The course will introduce students to the major developments in Russian politics and history over the last century, from the revolution of 1905 to the First and Second World Wars, to the Cold War, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union and to its successor.

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