International Relations (INTR) 395

Political Economy of Development: People, Processes, and Policies (Revision 2)

POEC 395 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. A previous course in development is recommended.

Precluded Course: INTR 395 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 3 different disciplines—INTR 395, GLST 395 and POEC 395 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for GLST 395 or POEC 395.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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INTR 395 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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What is development? What role do historical patterns and institutions play in moulding the development context and outcomes? How are development theories and practices responding to economic globalization, shifting global economic geography, and global climate change? How does private capital influence development patterns and practices worldwide? Is “development” relevant only for the Global South in the twenty-first century? Political Economy of Development: People, Processes, and Policies, a three-credit, senior-level course provides a broad overview of the historical evolution of the dynamic and contested concept of development, its theoretical study, and its application in the contemporary domestic and international policy spheres.


The course consists of the following six units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Development Studies: Theory and Practice
  • Unit 2: A Long View of Economic History: Putting “Development” (and the Lack of It) Into Perspective
  • Unit 3: Development as a Domestic Policy Objective: The Role of the State
  • Unit 4: International Development Aid: Then and Now
  • Unit 5: Development and Economic Globalization: The Enforcers and The Resisters
  • Unit 6: Challenges of “Development” in the Twenty-First Century: Inequality, iCapitalism, and Climate Change


To receive credit for INTR 395, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of D (50 percent) or better on the final examination and the research essay, and obtain a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) or better. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Essay 1 20%
Essay 2 20%
Research Essay 30%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

All course materials are entirely online and include course information, a study guide, a digital reading room (DRR), and links to articles and videos.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the INTR 395 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, November 4, 2016.

View previous syllabus