International Relations and Development POLITIC5079

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will analyse the interaction between industrialised and developing countries in the context of the changing system of international relations. To do so, it will discuss different types of financial assistance made available for developing countries, the link between foreign aid and other development-related policies (e.g. trade, migration), the role of emerging economies and selected international organisations in the evolving global development architecture.



The timetable for this course will be made available to students at the beginning of the academic year. There is no guarantee that this course will run in any given year. For further information, please check the Politics and International Relations Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

General requirements for entry to PGT level

Excluded Courses





Class participation - 10% of the total mark;

Review of readings - 15% of the total mark;

Final essay - 75% of the total mark.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide opportunities for students to:


■ Discuss different understandings and measurements of development and global inequality;

■ Analyse the main theories in the field of International Relations and Development;

■ Show how the global architecture for development has evolved over the past six decades;

■ Understand why and how traditional and emerging donors give foreign aid;

■ Investigate the role of selected international organisations(e.g. United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization) and civil society actors (both in the North and in the South) in the promotion of international development;

■ Explore the impact of selected policies of industrialised and emerging economies (e.g. trade, security, and migration) on the economic and social development of developing countries.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Make valid comparisons between different purposes of foreign aid and various types of international donors;

■ Identify the different roles played by civil society actors in development-related processes;

■ Compare and contrast the role of selected international institutions  in the promotion of international development;

■ Recognise how diverse understandings of the concept of development affect policy choices;

■ Evaluate potential synergies between foreign aid and other development-related policies;

■ Apply some of the main theories in the field of International Relations and Development to particular and concrete situations;

■ Formulate cogent arguments on the evolution of the global discourse on development in written and oral forms.




Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.