[skip to content]

Department of Development Studies

The Working Poor and Development (MSc Research for International Development)

Course Code:
15PDSH045
Unit value:
0.33
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 2

This course is only available to students enrolled on the MSc Research for International Development programme.

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.

This course will be delivered alongside the parallel course 'The working poor and development', worth 22.5 CATS credits. Students will have the opportunity to attend all lectures and tutorials, but the examinable component will be approximately 75% of the 22.5 CATS credits syllabus. The following topics will not be part of the examinable component of this course: Week 1: Introduction and overview and poverty, labour and development and Week 10 : Rural labour. 

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 of debates on the working poor
• 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% exam, 40% coursework. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of no more than 4000 words. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.