Fall 2021 - POL 131 D100

Politics of Prosperity and Inequality (3)

Class Number: 3848

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 8:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    RCB 7100, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2021
    1:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby



Introduces how politics shapes economic inequality and development. Focuses on how government policy and the struggle for power offer solutions to major social and economic problems. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


What explains the wealth of some countries or the poverty of others? This course introduces students to the politics and geographies of poverty and inequality amongst the advanced/industrialized countries of the global north and the poorer/underdeveloped countries of the global south. Lectures and discussions engage the North South divide within global politics, focusing on the structures, institutions and processes that influence the development of the global south. Part one of the course traces the history and origins of the North-South ‘development divide’ with specific focus on colonialism and imperialism. Part two explores the ‘development gap’ between the North and South and situates this debate within mainstream development theories including modernization, dependency, world systems, critical and post development theory. Part three examines the institutional context of development, with a focus on processes, structures and institutions engaged in international development. This section will engage actors, development institutions, private foundations and non-governmental actors working to manage the consequences of poverty and inequality. Relevant case studies will be drawn from Africa, Asia, Middle East and Latin America to illustrate debates within the field.


  • Lecture and Tutorial Attendance and Participation 10%
  • Short Paper 15%
  • Mid-Term Exam 20%
  • Research Paper Outline 5%
  • Research Paper 20%
  • Final Exam 30%



Haslam, P., Shafer, J., & Beaudet, (2021). Introduction to International Development: Approaches, Actors, Issues, and Practice. Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199036431


Benjamin, C., & Cosgrove, S. (2017). Understanding Global Poverty: Causes, Capabilities, and Human Development. Routledge. ISBN 9781138230774

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.