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OAFP 5410 - Globalization, development and decolonialism

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


There is no specific requisite for this course. Students will have to read the mandatory bibliography in order to prepare each session. A strong curiosity and interest for contemporary issues is highly recommended

Course Description

Why does the globalization process generate inequalities within societies and between countries? Can we talk about winners and loosers of the globalization? Is there a unique path to development, and is the concept of sustainability impossible to question? Is there no alternative to the growing inequalities in our societies? What is the decolonial approach to these issues? Does the Global South have alternatives to show in order to face the greatest challenges of our times? What is the place of women and more specifically of feminism in these pressing issues? It seems fundamental to understand the link between the globalization process, the development models and the decolonial critics in order to broaden the understanding of the global dynamics and power equilibrium. Indeed, even if a unique path seems to exist, various conceptions and alternatives actually coexist (pacifically or not), embodied in the great variety of territorial development processes, each one having to address difficult controversies. Developing a series of thematic classes, we will successively discover alternative and critical theories in order to generate a reflection around these questions. The objective of the course is to propose critical theories, especially focusing on theories from the Global South in order to introduce new tools for the analysis, and to detect “invisibilised” alternatives and innovations. Each session will be based on a mandatory reading and a subsequent discussion using concrete examples of social mobilizations, territorial conflicts and problematic issues existing at different scales. We will particularly focus on theories that try to explain structural inequalities between Western Countries and countries from the Global South. This reflection will simultaneously be articulated at the national and local scale within developed countries, where similar dynamics can be recognized. This course aims to discuss concepts that are well established and might seem consensual, questioning the power structure they rely upon and the dynamics they generate in our contemporary societies. The students will have to develop critical thinking in order to analyze contemporary issues such as globalization dynamics, development challenges, decolonialism, feminisms, political ecology and agriculture controversies. We will study the evolution of these concepts and their current and future implications. These questions frequently generate strong demands and fights from segments of the population, triggering social mobilizations and conflicts articulated at different scales. We will study the underlying theories and conceptions embodied by these social movements to understand the conflicting rationalities of the different categories of actors coexisting in a territory in order to explain the changing geometries of power and their impact on the different political configurations. To develop this critical analysis, we will refer to a multidisciplinary range of authors and intellectuals, with a special effort to articulate theory and analysis of concrete cases.


CHEVRIN, Coline (Enseignante)

Pedagogical format

The course will be composed of lectures on the concepts and theories introduced by the compulsory readings, which will be followed by debates based on the analysis of concrete cases. The course aims to be very dynamic and to create a constant questioning from the students. Guest teachers might intervene during a few sessions in order to discuss the application of theory.

Course validation

This course will be evaluated based on the three following modalities: Midterm: multiple choice on the concepts seen in class 10% A short multiple choice exam will be held at midterm in order to evaluate the student's readings. Presentation in class: 30% The students will have to make a group presentation on a topic of their choice related to the themes developed during the course. The objective is to analyze a concrete case of territorial controversy or conflict using the theories introduced by the readings and the debates in class. Students will have to contextualize the problematic situation, the different categories of actors involved, the balance of power between them, and to present an opinion on the evolution of the case. Final essay: 40% The students will have to write a short essay on the topic of their choice using authors from the course but also personal readings. The subject will be previously validated by the professor.


Students are expected to read the mandatory bibliography in order to understand the main concepts that will be discussed in class and to be able to participate to the debates. A strong curiosity as well as interest for the current world affairs is necessary.

Required reading