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Transformations in the Global South


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Ali Burak Güven
  • Assessment: a 3000-word essay (90%) and seminar log (10%)

Module description

This module explores the profound political and economic shifts that have taken place in the global South in recent decades. Building on a critical perspective on the political economy and geopolitics of international development, it examines a broad range of themes including democratic transitions, authoritarian resilience, neoliberal reforms, challenges of globalisation and changing capitalist models in the South. The module also reflects on enduring questions of policy space, regional integration and international coordination in low-income and middle-income countries, many of which are now considered 'emerging powers' as a result of fast-evolving dynamics of contemporary global politics.

Indicative module syllabus

  • World Trends
  • Late Development: States, Markets, Geopolitics
  • Democratic Transitions in the Global South
  • Authoritarianism, Hybrid Regimes and Democratic Decline
  • Neoliberal Reform and Globalisation
  • Southern Varieties of Capitalism
  • The Return of the State
  • Regions and Regionalism in the South
  • From the Third World to Emerging Powers

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • have a good grasp of the historical and contemporary debates on development
  • understand key issues discussed in relation to the global South in scholarly fields including comparative politics, political economy and international relations
  • have developed an empirically rich view of the circumstances underlying the rise of new powers in global political economy
  • have a broad understanding of key contemporary global trends as seen from multiple scholarly perspectives
  • have developed skills of critical thinking, enquiry, synthesis, analysis and evaluation that can be employed on other modules studied at this level.