Spring 2023 - HIST 358 D100

Development, Aid and Difference in Historical Perspective (4)

Class Number: 4893

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history.



Examines "International Development" within a series of historical frames, including the history of imperialism, the history of international relations, globalization, and the cultural and intellectual history of North-South relations. Students who have credit for IS 358 may not take HIST 358 for further credit.


How is global development in the contemporary period affected by legacies of the past? What does development for the poor mean in a world economic system with a neoliberal ethos? How are the effects of international development felt differently outside of the Western hemisphere? Crucially, how have movements of resistance affected our understanding of what development should be?

This course engages with these questions in considering the longer histories of empire and colonial legacies as a backdrop to the global system in which international institutions regulate global development and the provision of aid. Throughout the focus remains on how colonial legacies are implicated in the ideas and practices around development, as well as in the local movements that resist the hegemonic control of development discourse.

The course will specifically draw on examples from non-Western countries. The case studies discussed in this course range from the strategies used by Adivasis in the hills of India, to Indonesian small farmers and the EZLN in Chiapas. No prior knowledge of these movements is required.


By the end of this course

  • Students will be able to outline the process by which “international development” became a field in the 20th century and explain how this history was linked to colonialism.
  • Students will be able to appraise and debate the long-term impacts of international development on different local contexts in the Global South.
  • Students will be able to identify and explain examples of resistance from the Global South that have shown how development can have multiple paths.
  • Students will learn how to present their ideas and engage in critique using multiple modes of communication (visual, an argumentative debate and through in-class discussion sessions).
  • Students will learn how to research and write a formal academic essay.


  • Class Participation 15%
  • Debate and write-up 15%
  • Book review 20%
  • Historical Case Study: a visual essay 15%
  • Research Essay 35%



There is no textbook for this course. All readings will be circulated via canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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