SGO4502 – Development Theory Course 2

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

In the course Development theory 2 we focus on globalisation and geographies of labour by linking contemporary debates to classical texts. Globalisation through a closer integration of the Global South into the world economy is seen by some as the solution to development problems. To others, the same processes are seen as evidence of present-day imperialism. At the one end of the political dimension, triumphant neo-liberal theorists continue to claim that non-intervention from the state and open economies provide the solution, whereas (re-emerging) Marxists set a critical light on their analyses, and put emphasis at strengthening anti-capitalist movements world-wide. Contemporary debates on labour exemplify dilemmas of globalisation and analyse processes that shape labour regimes at several scales.

Learning outcome

The objective of the course is to take the pulse of contemporary development debates, with the following specific aims:

Aims of knowledge

  • The student should be capable of identifying central themes and analyse present-day positions in terms of the theoretical understanding provided by classical and contemporary development theory.
  • The student should be enabled to argue pro et con different positions in many debates, and be open to valid arguments in any paradigm.

Aims of learning

  • To improve the students' ability to discuss and carefully present many different perspectives.
  • To improve the students understanding of the complexities of development, and improve their ability to convey this complexity in writing as well as in discussions.
  • To encourage, where relevant, the students to link intermediate and grand theories when discussing several development issues.
  • To enable the students to express themselves independently and with a high level of precision.

Critical approach

  • The student should become a critical thinker, with a clear understanding of central concepts in development discourses.
  • Through the course, the student should acquire a taste for dilemmas of development, which is a true sign of mature development thinking.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Private candidates cannot take this course.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

This course is a part of the Master's program in Human Geography.

Students in other master programs may apply to be accepted as guest students. Please note that the following special restrictions apply:

  • applicant must be admitted to a master program.
  • this course will be taken as a part of their Master's degree. A confirmation from the students student adviser must be attached to the application.
  • there are available places in this course.

Applications must be sent the department by August 10th. Answers will be sent one week before the first lecture.

Overlapping courses

If you have taken the course SGO4015 – Development Theory (discontinued) you cannot take SGO4502.


This course will be taught at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other location in Oslo may be used.

The teaching consists of lectures and seminars.

The course is designed for both Norwegian students and students on exchange programmes or bilateral agreements. All teaching will be given in English.


The Faculty of Social Science is responsible for the exam(s), and exam(s) are/is normally held at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used.

A 6-hour school exam. The students can choose whether they will do the exams in English or Norwegian. This must be done when the student registers for the examination.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The students can choose whether they will answer the exam questions in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Examination results are available in StudentWeb within three weeks after the examination-date, if no other information is given on the Webpage for the current semester.

Explanations and appeals

Explanations & appeals at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

If you wish to use a dictionary during the exam, the dictionary has to be checked. Please hand it in to the exam advisor 3 days prior to exam.

Application forms for special examination arrangements on school-exams should be sent to The Faculty of Social Science. Applications for special examination arrangements on other exams should be sent to the Department which organizes the course.


This course is evaluated half way through every semester and every four years the course undergoes a thorough evaluation.

An external auditor regularly evaluates the academic quality of the course and he/she makes a written report every year.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2009


Autumn 2009

Teaching language