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Unit information: The Politics of the Global South in 2020/21

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Unit name The Politics of the Global South
Unit code POLI10004
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Egle Cesnulyte
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will interrogate the socio-economic and political change associated with European expansion and colonialism. It will take historical perspective to introduce students to some key features of global political economy (in the past and today), including processes of production and appropriation, inequalities, social justice, and social change in the making of the Global South. The module is based on the premise that colonialism had profound effects on the formation of both the Global North and the Global South and that this historical knowledge is necessary to understand global processes today.

Unit aims:

  • To examine the political and economic history of colonialism and to explore the role that colonialism in the Americas, Africa and Asia plays in the making of the contemporary world
  • To analyse what the impact of colonialism has been in the modern world, what its continuing legacies may be and how the recent efforts of some actors to address these legacies have fared (i.e. reparations for slavery debate, ‘fair trade’ initiatives).
  • To introduce students to some of the relevant key concepts in social sciences.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the historical factors underlying differences in the social, economic and political differences between the Global North and the Global South
  • analyse the role of colonialism in formation of the global capitalist economy
  • critically reflect on the role of domination, subordination, violence, and theft in the making of wealth and poverty

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

1000 word report (25%) 2000 word essay (75%)

Both assessments test all Learning Outcomes listed above

Reading and References

• Allen T & A Thomas (2000) Poverty and Development into the 21st Century, Oxford University Press
• Waites B (1999) Europe and the Third World: from Colonisation to Decolonization, c. 1500-1998, Palgrave Macmillan
• Wolf E (1997) Europe and the people without history, University of California Press
• Stavrianos L S (1981) Global Rift: the Third World Comes of Age, William Morrow & Co
• Mason M (1997) Development and Disorder: A History of the Third World since 1945, Between the Lines
• Green D & L Luehrmann (2011) Comparative politics of the ‘Third World’: linking concepts and cases, Lynne Rienner Pub