The point of departure for development studies are power relations and institutions complicating social, economic, and political progress in the post-colonial world. Geographically, this area of study covers large parts of Africa, Asia and Latin-America.
As both the causes, as well as the solutions, to the problems of the post-colonial world are all about politics, governance and administration, development studies makes for an essential contribution to the general study of politics. At the Department of Political Science development studies is considered a sub-study of comparative politics.
An interdisciplinary perspective
Formal institutions in the post-colonial world are often weak, and deeply embedded in wider social, economic and cultural contexts. Attempts at explaining politics and development in these areas should therefore take an interdisciplinary approach drawing on experiences from historians, economists, anthropologists and geographers. To be able to study informal and poorly documented dynamics one will often utilize applied research methods, such as extensive fieldwork.
The importance of cooperation
The Department of Political Science emphasizes the importance of cooperation with the other sub-disciplines of Political Science with regards to education, supervision and research within development studies. Several of the department’s researchers are involved with developmental issues in their research projects.