Non-core Courses

The following information on non-core courses is provided as a service to the students. Official course information is available in the York Courses Website.

AP/SOSC 2801 3.0 W - Approaches to Economies of Development

Offered: Winter 2016, R 2:30-5:30
Area: Political Economy; Politics, Governance and Policy
Course Director: TBA

This course re-introduces basic economic concepts and reasoning to practices of development for IDS students. Standard economic textbooks introduce students to ways in which economists understand the economy through micro-economic factors underlying consumer behavior, utility, and the interaction of supply and demand; and macroeconomic concepts of economic measurement, economic growth, output and input markets, aggregate of supply and demand, fiscal and monetary policy, unemployment, and balance of payments. Taking a trans-and interdisciplinary approach, the course provides broader contexts and more heterogeneous approaches to economic reasoning and concepts as they apply to development. The focus is on how historical changes, cultural norms, and socioeconomic institutions constrain, or enhance, choices possible for different groups of people at particular times and places in sites of development. Basic economic concepts for development within the Global South will be studied within their social context and as part of broader relationships.

In connecting economics to other disciplines and spheres of life, this course highlights an understanding of development often absent in more orthodox approaches to economics. Students will re-explore economic reasoning in nontechnical language and inquire about the conditions for collaboration and disarticulation in development; why “underdeveloped” economies are organized the way they are; and whether it is possible for economic efficiency and social justice to coexist in development.

This course is designed for students who have had at least one semester of prior study in economics (or, alternatively, have received permission of the instructor) and who wish to strengthen their economic understanding of international development. Students who do not have the prerequisite may consider taking AP/ECON 1900 3.00 – Microeconomics for Life during the Fall semester (in the Economics program; may count as elective for degree but does not provide credit for IDS major) and AP/SOSC 2801 during the Winter semester.

Prerequisites: AP/ECON 1000/1010 or AP/ECON 1900 (or the equivalent of at least one semester of introductory economics) and AP/SOCS1430, or permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 3543 6.0 - Introduction to Gender and Development: Key Themes in Critique and Practice

Offered: FW 2015-16, T 2:30-5:30
Area: Gender
Course director: TBA

This course will introduce students to the history, theory and practice of “Gender and Development”. We examine the emergence of women as a constituency in development and the ways in which feminists have engaged with development as well as the ways in which development institutions have appropriated feminist and gender discourses and practices. The first part will lay the conceptual/ analytical foundations to understanding women, men, gender and development while the second part of the course will cover the history of and various issues related to GAD. At the end of the course students will have acquired necessary theoretical and conceptual skills to analyse from a gender perspective. Readings will include journal articles and book chapters, most of which are available online through the York library. Some material may be posted on moodle.

Learning will be organised around class lectures, presentations and discussions based on assigned readings, case studies and films. Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions based on the readings. Students are expected to come prepared with the readings to class and actively participate in discussions of the readings. All course-related information will be available on moodle.

Prerequisite: None.

AP/SOSC 3801 6.0 - Understanding Development Planning and Management

Offered: FW 2015-16, W 2:30-5:30
Area: All
Course Director: TBA

This course offers a concise, yet critical and systematic analysis of development planning and management. It emphasizes a close link between development theory and practice, and thus aims to provide a deeper understanding of the processes by which development plans are formulated, projects are designed, and Programs are implemented. It demonstrates how the changing language of development is pushing a reconsideration of the tools and methods by which development is planned and managed at different levels—local, national, and international. The course draws from the accounts of scholars, policy-makers, and managers and explores relevant case studies to identify the ways in which pro-people policies/projects/programs are both designed and implemented.

AP/SOSC 3802 3.0 W - Policy Making in Context: Development and Sustainability

Offered: Winter 2016, M 11:30-2:30
Areas: Environment; Politics, Governance and Policy
Course director: N. Dao

This course explores the close relationship between sustainability and policy processes through the examination of policy debates around key development issues. Linking environmental sustainability with poverty reduction and social justice, and making science and technology work for the poor, have become central practical, political and moral challenges for development. Yet, despite growing international attention and investment policy attempts often fail. Why is this the case and what can be done about it? Students explore possible answers by examining different pathways, approaches, tools and methods of moving forward with sustainability.

Following an introductory section where central concepts and frameworks are developed, the course moves on to explore real-life and real livelihood experiences for policy debates. Examples include debates surrounding agri-food system governance, watershed management, and energy policy processes. The focus is on understanding the dynamic interrelationships between local context and wider national and international policy processes. Through a discussion on the values-based aims of sustainability, students learn why some approaches are dominant, even when they do not produce the desired results. This knowledge serves as the basis to identify alternative ‘pathways’ to respond more effectively to the challenges of sustainability.

Students will apply the knowledge and skills acquired to respond to a concrete sustainability challenge. Small teams of ‘consultants’ are assigned an urgent sustainability policy issues in development to investigate. Each team conducts desk-based research and prepares a short report, complete with technical findings and policy recommendations, which they will defend before a panel of ‘expert decision makers’ (the class).

Prerequisites: None.

AP/SOSC 4604 3.0 - Aspects of Development Research: the Field Experience

Offered: Winter 2016, T 2:30-5:30
Area 1: Culture
Course Director: J. Hellman

This course looks at the field experience through the lens of specific case studies. The objective is to uncover through an interdisciplinary approach the issues, ethics and challenges of studying different development practices in the field. The seminar examines both new and long utilized methods and approaches to the study of the people who become the subjects of development research but also - sometimes only a generation later - the protagonists in development projects. Using different ways of understanding the context out of which knowledge is produced and put into development practice, the course will consider what have been regarded over time as ethical and valuable practices in field work. Topics emphasized will vary from year to year depending on the instructor.

Course credit exclusions: None.

AP/SOSC 4605 6.0 - International Development Placement Course

Offered FW 2015-16, R 5-8
Areas: All

This course allows students to combine learning about the workings of development nongovernmental organizations, through a hands-on experience with an NGO and more conventional academic activities in the classroom. The unpaid work placement will be fulfilled with an NGO involved in international and/or local development within the Greater Toronto Area: a) an organization working on the implementation of development programs and projects in an area or country within the Global South; or b) an organization connected to work in community development, environmental protection, support to immigrant, or refugee populations. The student will become involved in the work of the organization by contributing to the development and implementation of some of the organization’s programs and activities.

Students’ work will be supervised by a staff member of the organization offering the placement. The job assignment will be agreed upon between the two parties with the assistance of the course director before the beginning of the fall term. The organization where the student is placed will ensure appropriate support for the successful completion of the assigned tasks. Direct involvement in the work of an NGO will afford students a unique opportunity to gain practical knowledge of the day-to-day practices of development planning and management. Within these organizations students will attend planning meetings, support research initiatives, contribute to knowledge-mobilization programs, and participate in other routine activities.

In addition to the tasks undertaken as part of the job placement portion of the course, students will also meet in seminars and complete coursework aimed at providing the necessary intellectual tools to contextualize the significance of specific development interventions and practices. Class will meet every two weeks during Fall and Winter. During the Fall students will prepare for their placement. The actual work placement (one day per week, not on the same day as class) will happen during the Winter semester.

Prerequisite: SOSC 1430 and SOSC 2800, B+ average in MAJOR, or permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4607 3.0 - Indigeneity and International Development

Offered Fall 2015, W 2:30-5:30
Area: Culture; Politics, Governance and Policy; Political Economy
Course director: M. Gonzalez

This course examines the significance of discourses on indigeneity for the theory and practice of international development. The course sets out the multiple, purposive, and often contradictory articulations of indigenousness as a site of agency and contention in the 26 interactions between indigenous communities and international development agents, such as NGOs, international organizations, states, and funding agencies.

The course reviews contending conceptual understandings of indigenousness and ethnic identity (including primordialism, instrumentalism, Marxism, feminism, decolonizing scholarship, and post-colonial / post-structuralist approaches) in relation to forms of resistance, representation, engagement and countenance of alternative forms of development. Collaborative research methodologies, in particular their potential to construct bridges and intercultural dialogues between agents in knowledge production interacting in international development, will also be explored. The course builds on these theoretical foundations and conceptual landscapes and then moves on to a systematic analysis of experiences and case studies emerging from the Global South.

Key concepts and processes to be examined in this course include: indigenousness, power, knowledge, identity, representation, gender, race, ethnicity, community, territory, citizenship, class, indigenous agency and mobilization, international law on the rights of indigenous peoples, neocolonialism and development.

Prerequisites: None.