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OnderzoekGlobalisation Studies Groningen (GSG)Education

Two Minor Packages ‘Development Studies’


Code: MILET41


This interfaculty Minor is taught in English. Coordinator: Dr. P. Boele van Hensbroek; Globalisation Studies Groningen, 050 363 3666,

The DS1 and DS2 packages, each of three courses with elective options, can be followed separately or be combined. Together they form a an integrated programme, including seminar sessions, guest speakers, paper writing, and possibility of development experience in Tanzania. All core courses are offered in the Minor semester (September to February). Most of the courses can also be followed separately, as an elective, if the complete minor packages do not fit your schedule.

These multidisciplinary minor packages provide you with a profound introduction into development problems in the age of globalisation. They include elementary as well as more advanced discussions of a range of development related problems, including discussions on contrasting approaches in the analyses of development. One of the students commented: “this was the best semester in my studies to date”. The courses cover a broad range of different development issues, including Development Economics, Social Change, Environment, Culture and Politics, and Theories of Development. They are also offered by different faculties, so you can follow courses from: Economics and Business, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Spatial Sciences.

Whether your future career is in government, banking, NGOs, health, or a water- or energy company, global operations may be part of your work and you will require insight into development problems as well as change-management skills. For those who want to continue in a Master programme in Development Studies and proceed into a career directly in development these minor packages are a must.

The DS1 programme consists of the three courses: 1) Environment & Development, 2) Ethnicity, Culture, Politics, and 3)Social & Institutional Change. One of these courses may be replaced by the option Introduction to Anthropology or the option International Humanitarian Action.

The DS2 programme consists of three courses with possible electives: 1) Global Development Studies, 2) Topical Themes in Development, 3) Reading Seminar : Key Debates in Development Studies . The last two cannot be chosen without following at least two other Minor courses. Topical Themes involves an individual paper, presentations and group discussions ; this course can be exchanged for Population & Development or for the Summer School ACE in Tanzania (see below). The Reading Seminar consists of discussions on key texts in the development literature in seminar group setting.

The Minor Development Studies is an interfaculty minor and can thus also be followed by Facultu of Arts students as an ‘extrernal minor’. Most courses can be followed as single courses also without following the complete Minor packages.


Progress Code




DS I package - semester Ia:
Social and Institutional Change


Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences

5 C Semester Ia
Ethnicity, Culture and Politics


Faculty of Arts

5 C

Semester Ia

Environment and Development


Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences



Semester Ia

Introduction to Anthropology


Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
5 E Semester Ia
International Humanitarian Action


Faculty of Arts
5 E Semester Ia and Ib (till December)
DS II package - semester Ib:

Global Development Studies


Faculty of Business and Economics



Semester Ib

Topical Themes in Development (only for minor package students)


Faculty of Business and Economics

5 E

Semester Ib

Reading Seminar: Key Debates in Development Studies


Faculty of Arts



Semester Ib

Population and Development (option)


Faculty of Spatial Sciences



Semester Ib

Tanzania Intensive Programme (option)



Semester Ib


Development Issues in the Age of globalisation

Contemporary processes of globalisation change the face of development problems. The North-Atlantic countries are loosing their leading position to emerging economies, while companies, private organisations, and self-help initiatives become major players in development next to governments and public NGOs. In addition, topical issues such as environmental sustainability, poverty, and migration are not just located within developing countries but affect all countries and ask for international networking, policy and action. Therefore, understanding development problems has become a core interest in many academic fields.

Development organisations also change. They do not implement development initiatives themselves but become coaches, knowledge providers, and financers of local organizations and ini­tiatives. Important new fields are international lobbying and campaigning in order to influence public opinion, companies and national and international policy agencies. Whether your future career is in government, banking, NGOs, in health, in a water- , insurance-, or energy company, global operations may be part of your work and you will require insight into development problems. This minor provides you with rich interdisciplinary foundation for such an international orientation.

The Minor Programme

You participate in an integrated programme, including seminar class room teaching, sessions, paper writing (option) and a discussion tutorial. The programme consists of two parts: block 1a and 1b with various choice options. For the full Minor you choose a minimum of six core courses. All core courses are offered in the Minor semester (September to February). Most of the courses can also be followed separately as an elective, if the complete Minor does not fit your schedule.

The courses cover a broad range of development issues, such as Theories of Development, Development Economics, Social Change, Anthropology, Environment, Ethnicity, Population, Culture, and Politics. The Reading Seminar facilitates intensive learning in discussion groups. The course Topical Themes in Development involves individual paper writing. This last course can also be replaced by the taught course Population & Development, or by a two-week Summer School held in Tanzania or China and conducted in the summer break at the end of the academic year.

For a global-minded student, this will be a study semester to enjoy and remember!

Environment & Development

This course analyses causes of environmental problems at the local, national and international levels, discussing issues such as depletion of natural resources; democracy and good environmental governance; globalisation and the international dimension of environmental problems; biofuels and food production, and the “greening” of development. It also reviews possible policies and strategies for environmental improvement, using case-studies from different countries and sectors. Coordinator: dr. M.R. Berger (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) block 1a course code EMED11.

Ethnicity, Culture, Politics

This course discusses processes of cultural, social and political change in development and globalisation (such as indigenous patters of social organisation, patrimonialism, state formation and restructuring, and civil society development). It gives special attention to culture and the ways in which identity and community are ‘imagined’ in the form of politicised identity struggles around ethnicity, nationalism and cosmopolitanism. Such identity politics relates to change and conflict in both our multicultural societies and development societies. Lecturer: dr. Pieter Boele van Hensbroek (Globalisation Studies Groningen) block 1a course code LBA025B05.

Social and Institutional Change

This course discusses the roles of cultural norms and institutional rules in economic life in general and in socio-economic development in particular. It discusses insights from recent development in new economic sociology, neo-institutional economics, as well as cross-cultural social psychology. Topics include: problems of measuring the quality of life; the role of cultural and institutional contexts in development theory; differences in national and organizational cultures; the role of gender arrangements, legal institutions, religious beliefs, and social capital; the social embeddedness of markets, entrepreneurship, and ‘ethnic economies’; and the problems of bringing insights from social theory into practice. Coordinator: dr. Michael Maes (Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences) block 1a course code SOBA904.

Introduction to Anthropology (elective)

Anthropology deals with humans as social and cultural beings, how they organize themselves through e.g. kinship, age, gender, caste or class. In addition, they create an ideal vision of their society in the shape of religious beliefs and cosmologies, and express themselves in ritual processes. Anthropologists study and compare how all this is achieved around the globe, in the present as well as through history. This is an intensive course with mandatory seminar group sessions involving presentation and discussion. Coordinator: dr. Peter Berger (Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies) block 1a course code: TH-MINORS5

International Humanitarian Action (elective)

This introductory course to humanitarian action aims to provide an appreciation of contemporary challenges faced in supporting the most vulnerable populations in societies around the globe. Be it man-made or natural disasters, the politicisation of aid, the militarisation of aid, the impact of the financial crisis, security concerns, gender awareness, growing demands for accountability and transparency, all issues shape present day humanitarianism. The Netherlands play a key role in dealing with these challenges, because of past performance and current involvement. Coordinator: prof. Joost Herman (Faculty of Arts, Director of NOHA, director of Globalisation Studies Groningen). Block 1a and 1b; code LBU041B05

Global Development Studies

This course gives a broad overview of development issues. The core of the course is the explanation of low income levels in developing countries and why some countries have successfully overcome this condition. Explanations involve economic factors as well as demographic, social, historical, ecological and institutions ones. Lecturer: dr. Gaaitzen de Vries (Faculty Economics & Business) block 1b; course code EBB921B05 .

Reading Seminar: Key Debates in Development Studies

In the course we discuss the most important texts and theoretical currents in Development Studies in a seminar group setting, providing students with deeper understanding development issues. In this highly rated course, students encounter the most important classical and contemporary debates. Topics of reading and discussion include: Paradigms in Development Thinking, Theories of Globalisation, Rural Development, Globalisation of Production, Democracy and Civil Society, and Aid. This course is only open for those following the whole Minor. Lecturer: Dr. Yongjun Zhao, Globalisation Studies Groningen) block 1b course code LBA016B05.

Topical Themes in Development

This course aims at providing an in-depth understanding of a particular set of problems in development, working in a small-group setting with a mentor-lecturer. Writing your own research essay is the core of this course. Students can choose from a number of theme groups including: Economic Development, Social and political development of Africa , The pros and cons of globalization, Education in development, Environmentally sustainable development . This course is only open for Minor students. Coordinator: dr. Bartjan Pennink (Faculty of Business and Economics) block 1b course code EBB922A05.

Population & Development (elective)

This is a taught course that can be chosen as an optional instead of Topical Themes. It aims at understanding differences in fertility, mortality, and migration across regions and countries, taking an interdisciplinary approach (biological, socio-cultural, and economic). Topics include: health, poverty, urbanisation, nutrition, culture, ageing, HIV-AIDS and population policy. Coordinator: Hinke Haisma (Faculty of Spatial Sciences) block 1b course code GEOPODEV

Summer School Programme

This two-week Intensive Prorgamme brings together European, Chinese and African students in Morogoro, Tanzania (in 2016 in China) in the Summer break at the end of the academic year. After solid preparation there is a programme of lectures, seminars, excursions and field work. This programme can be followed as an optional form of the Topical Themes course. Students have to make their own travel arrangements and pay a fee for upkeep and local transport. Block 1b course code EBB922A05.

Admission and registration

The minor is open to students from all faculties, most courses can be followed separately as an elective course. Registration for the minor at: and in addition for each course separately (!!) at ProgRessWWW .

Please note that for the 2 Faculty of Arts courses (Ethnicity, Culture, Politics;   Reading Seminar: Key Debates in Development Studies) late registration is open between August 25 and September 2. For the Minor as a whole late registration is possible by requesting manual registration by GSG office manager Mr. Jarno Hoving:

More i nformation:

Globalisation Studies Groningen, University of Groningen
Tel. +31 50 3632391;
Email: or

Laatst gewijzigd:21 juni 2017 15:53