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School of Politics and International Relations

POL255 Colonialism, Capitalism and Development

(POL255A – Autumn)

Level: 5

Credits: 15 credits

Semester: A

Contact: TBC

Overlap: None


Compulsory for: Semi-compulsory for L250, L250Y

Associate Availability: Full Year and Autumn only


This module covers both the origin and trajectory of colonialism, capitalism, and development. It simultaneously surveys competing theoretical explanations for the emergence and reproduction of structural inequalities in the world system over the last 500 years. The module analyses a range of theoretical approaches to development – modernization, dependency, uneven and combined development, post-colonialism, and Marxism. It also connects historical inquiry to more recent processes, such as decolonization, Third World Revolutions, global commodity chains, ecological crisis, and the fate of the world’s peasantry.

Assessment: 1 x Book Review 2000 words (40%) and 2 hour Exam (60%)