Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 8 Hours. (8 x 1 hour)
Lecture 16 Hours. (16 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,000 words  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   70%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  • assess the impact of the global economy on Third World states, societies and economies;
  • assess the impact of international political relations on Third World states, societies and economies;
  • assess the impact of cultural representations and conflicts on Third World states, societies and economies;
  • consider whether economic, political or cultural factors are the most important determinants of North-South relations, and
  • engage with normative questions about how and whether North-South relations should be changed or restructured.

Brief description

This module investigates the changing position of the Third World within the contemporary international system.


This module investigates the changing position of the Third World within the contemporary international system, examining both the Third World's relations with the developed North, and the various ways in which these relations influence and structure Third World states, societies and economies.


The module is divided into three main sections. We begin by exploring the place of the Third World within the global economy, first by overviewing contending liberal and Marxist approaches to the subject, and thereafter by considering a range of issues - trade and investment, debt, aid, the role of international financial institutions - that are of central importance to the Third World and North-South relations.

In the second section we focus on questions of culture, enquiring whether and how Western cultural representations of the Third World affect North-South relations, and also examining cultural and ethno-nationalist conflicts within the Third World.

In the final section we turn to more directly political matters, exploring North-South relations both during and since the Cold War, and examining whether the changing nature of international politics has transformed Third World politics and societies.

Transferable skills

You will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills on this module. Throughout the course you will be able to practice and enhance your reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as basic numeracy and time management. In lectures you will be able to practice listening and note taking abilities as well as analytical skills. Preparation for seminars will encourage your research skills, with particular reference to making use of information technology. In seminars opportunities will be provided to practice analytical, listening, explaining, debating and problem solving skills. There will also be many occasions to develop team-working and presentation skills. The essay will encourage you to exercise your abilities in independent research, writing and use of IT, while the examination will assess these skills under conditions of limited time.

10 ECTS credits

Reading List

Recommended Text
Caroline Thomas (2000) Global Governance, Development and Human Security Pluto Primo search Nassau Adams (1992) Worlds Apart: The North-South Divide and the International System Zed Primo search
Supplementary Text
Adams Worlds apart Key BooksA clear analysis of post-1945 developments in North-South relations, and of the growing economic divide between North and South. London ; Atlantic Highlands, N.J : Zed Books Primo search Cammack, Paul A. Third World Politics Readings for the second half of the moduleEspecially useful for its excellent comparative discussions of individual countries and regions. edition 2r.e. Macmillan Primo search Chossudovsky The globalization of poverty Key BooksA bold and provocative critique of the neo-liberal orthodoxy for the Third World, with extensive use of case studies. London; Zed Books Malaysia Primo search Clapham, Christopher Third World Politics Readings for the second half of the moduleA very useful overview (though a bit old now), focusing on state forms and state-society relations in the Third World. edition n.e. Routledge Primo search Haynes Politics in the developing world Readings for the second half of the moduleA new edition of Jeff Haynes, Third World Politics: A Concise introduction (1996) Malden, MA ; Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Primo search Haynes Third World politics Readings for the second half of the moduleVery accessible. Cambridge, Mass ; Oxford : Blackwell Primo search Hoogvelt, Ankie M.M. Globalisation and the Postcolonial World Key BooksA slightly more difficult but very clear account of the development of the global capitalist system, emphasizing the quite different characters of different regions within the post-colonial world. edition 2r.e. Palgrave Primo search Stiglitz, Joseph E. Globalization and Its Discontents Key BooksA clear and incisive critique of IMF policy by a Chief Economist at the World Bank. edition n.e. Penguin Primo search Thomas, Caroline Key BooksA clear but rather polemical examination of the role of the international institutions and transnational corporations in the Third World. Pluto P. Primo search

Ankie Hoogvelt (2001) Globalization and the Postcolonial World: The New Political Economy of Development Palgrave Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6