11.005
Introduction to International Development

This course introduces undergraduates to the history, theory, and practice of international development. We take an interdisciplinary and applied approach to some of the "big questions" in our field, drawing from history, economics, sociology, and anthropology: What does development mean? Why are some countries poorer than others? How have different actors sought to address the challenges of development in the past, and how are they approaching these challenges now? What roles do technology and innovation play in international development?

While reflecting on the avenues through which students can build their own careers in the development field, the goal of this class is to go beyond traditional dichotomies and narrow definitions of progress, wellbeing, and modernity. Instead, we will invite students to develop a more nuanced understanding of international development by offering: i) a stimulating learning environment, which will support the development of their critical thinking, reading, writing, and planning skills; ii) interactions with scholars and practitioners of international development, to draw connections between histories and theories of development on one hand, and contemporary realities on the other.