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Development theories and concepts (10 LP)

Qualification aims

In this introductory module, students acquire basic knowledge of development theories and concepts in their different disciplinary backgrounds. These serve as a common basis for further study within their chosen profile area. Students learn to analyze transformation and development theory issues and concepts, as well as to critically question concepts such as "development" and "growth" according to their assumptions in oral and written form in the context of growing social inequalities and intensified environmental and climate crises. Interrelations of global economic and socio-political processes and different approaches in international (economic) policy can be developed by gaining an economic and basic social scientific understanding. Based on region-specific knowledge, students can independently classify different development theories and concepts. With special attention to the Latin American perspective, students can systematically name important epochs of development theories and their implementation as well as their institutional practices; analytically compare them with economic and social science concepts and their basic assumptions; and independently assess their implications. They master methods to analyze economic and political ideas as well as social science methods to write brief case studies incorporating knowledge of good academic practice.


Students receive an overview of theories and concepts of social science and economic transformation, development, and inequality research, and analyze the political implications and institutional implementation of these theories and concepts. The focus of this module is to analyze national and international macroeconomic and political aspects and their interaction with the political sphere at the national and regional levels. Based on critical approaches, the social and ecological consequences of the prevailing development patterns in Latin America are also addressed. Students critically analyze social science approaches to issues related to development theory and their political, social, economic, and ecological repercussions. They also gain knowledge of the instruments for implementing gender mainstreaming in the national and international context.


Teaching and learning methods: Vorlesung (V) + Hauptseminar (HS)

Module exam: Term paper (approx. 15 pages)

Offer: Every winter semester