Students will be able to understand the role of economic processes in global and local development. More specifically the course prepare them to analyse “development” and “development practices” as complex and multifaceted processes in which economies, societies and political systems are in strictly interaction.

Knowledge and understanding

Students will be able to understand the importance of different definitions and key concepts about local and global development (context, content, process and policy). Students will be able to analyse local and global development by using different theoretical tools useful for understanding the complexity of the actual practice in a territorial and global development. They will acquire insights into the effectiveness of territorial development strategies that are put into place; the manner in which development is intended, pursued and assessed; the problems that appear; the way they are solved; and the impact they have on the local communities.

Applying knowledge and understanding

To discuss the local and global dimension, during the course will be illustrated case-studies and comparative researches.

Further expected learning outcomes:

  • Making judgements: The study and the application of the principals theoretical and methodological tools will conduct the students to have a full autonomy and capacity of analysis.

  • Communication skills: Expansion of their communicative abilities for the management and presentation of the results and the editing of brief report with particular reference to the investigation on the field turns inside the course.

  • Learning skills: Through the intervention of external experts and the discussion of didactic material, the aim of the course is to stimulate the students toward the close examination of the thematic object of the program with the purpose to consolidate and to enrich their preparation.


The course has it focus on different conceptions and practices of global and local development. The aim is to understand the relationships between economic, cultural, and political factors in shaping models of development. The teaching programme will address the following topics: Formal and informal governance; Policy instruments and social capital; Territorial Policies and development. The course illustrates transformations and discusses challenges that global and local political institutions and communities have experienced over recent decades. The course aims to provide a series of mappings of the theoretical and practical landscape created by the modern and contemporary interpretation of variety of capitalistic models. After having analysed the main social and economic factors which have been framing in the long period world-wide distribution of wealth both at a global and local scale, particular attention will be dedicated to the concept of governance. The governance debate was started in view of the limits of government. In the theoretical debate around the concept of governance, there is a sort of prescriptive way of using this word. Recently, however, it has acquired different meanings, referring to non-hierarchical modes of coordination and basic forms of social order. The course will describe the successive paradigmatic shifts in the theory of governance, which has gradually extended its framework in order to adjust to the empirical challenges raised by the processes of Europeanization and globalization, and addresses an important issue in the development of theory in political science. Three main approaches can be identified. The first focuses on the changes that have occurred in the relationship between the national, regional, and local governments. The second addresses the increasing role played by the European Union in the policies and decision-making of the national states. The third studies the process of globalization. There is a strong interdependence among these three lines of analysis, pointing to the relevance of the changes in the spatial scale and in the impact that these changes have on economic processes.


Recommended textbooks:

Rist G. (2014), The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, Zed Books, London and New York. 

De Vivo P. (2018), “The Debate in Urban Anthropology and the Development of the Empirical Investigation of Governance”, Sage journals. 

Other texts will be indicate during the course 


Learning results to be verified

The final evaluation will be based on the participation to the course lessons and in written and oral examination.

Assessment method

Written and oral examination

Open questions