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Department of Development Studies

The working poor and development

Course Code:
15PDSH030
Unit value:
0.5
Taught in:
Term 2
The aim of this module is to enable students to understand the interaction between ‘the working poor’ and ‘development’ and, as part of this, to understand how a development approach which focuses on labouring groups differs conceptually from a perspective focussing on poverty, and leads to different developmental solutions. To do so, the course will consider conceptual issues relating to labour and development, and historical aspects of labour and capitalist development in Europe and the South. It will analyse globalisation, neo-liberalism and labour, and related competing theories including differences between poverty and labour focussed approaches. It will discuss policy approaches to the working poor including ILO’s ‘decent work’ approach, Corporate Social Responsibility and international union approaches, as well as struggles of and for the working poor by organised labour and social movements. Both mainstream and heterodox approaches will be investigated.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of this course a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the major and minor strands in debates on the working poor and development 
  • an ability to analyse and compare mainstream and heterodox approaches 
  • an ability to apply both theory and methodology in constructing a critical analysis of the issues for a particular country

Workload

Teaching takes place through a weekly 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial.

Method of assessment

60% examination, 40% coursework. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of no more than 4000 words, worth 40%. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.