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International Political Economy of Childhood


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Professor Karen Wells
  • Assessment: a 3000-word annotated bibliography (30%) and a 5000-word essay (70%)

    Module description

    How do the flows and structures of the international political economy impact how people and institutions in the Global South understand the capacities, competencies and vulnerabilities of children and youth? This module explores this question through an examination of key topics in developing studies as they impact on the lives and identities of children and young people. It begins with exploring how children became a central target of governance and how this shaped the agendas and approaches of international NGOs. It then examines the reality of children’s lives in the Global South, in relation to war, politics, migration, family life, education and work. 

    Student Comments

    • ‘I have learnt so much and would recommend everyone to this course.’
    • ‘[The] Course was genuinely interesting and approached development in a way I had not encountered before.’
    • ‘Lectures were well delivered and consistently interesting and engaging, and it was very clear that the instructor had an extremely deep knowledge of the topic.’

    Learning objectives

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:

    • consider ideas about the social and cultural specificity of childhood
    • view children as active participants in the development process
    • understand how the production of ideas about childhood are related to political economy at a national and global level
    • understand the motivations and aspirations of children's lives in the context in which they are lived.