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Institutions and Development

Institutions and development (A course taught by the MPhil in Development Studies)

(Dr S Fennell)

free_books[5].jpgThis paper explores the role of institutions in human development. The course is devised using a wide canvas with the intention of exploring the manner in which institutions have been conceptualised and analysed across individual disciplines in the social sciences. The lecture course brings together theoretical perspectives alongside both historical and current evidence on the interrelations between institutional structures and social and economic actions.


The course undertakes an institutional analysis drawing on concepts and frameworks provided by the disciplines of economics, sociology, political science, law and anthropology. The lectures examine the institutions of the state, notably the role of the bureaucracy and judiciary; societal institutions such as NGOs and social groups, customary norms such as culture and caste that affect human development. Individual lectures explore institutions such as the market, firm and the state, examine the perspectives of different academic schools such as New Institutional Economics, Marxism, Human Development and Capability theory on institutional changes, and give due consideration to how key development concerns such as poverty, environment and education can be examined through an institutional lens.

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