Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject we explore the conditions that enable progressive social change and those that constrain it. We do so in dialogue with a number of practitioners involved in development. We examine the interplay of actors and structures in the development field with the objective of identifying elements of successful development practice. Moving from broad debates in the social sciences, students are invited to consider a range of practical issues related to development practise, including: how non-governmental organizations mobilise people; the conditions for successful advocacy; the role of networking and informal structures in advancing social change; the constraints facing development and aid agencies: the politics of partnership and leadership; and the negotiation of power. Students apply this learning to specific projects they research during the subject.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorTim Thornton

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be enrolled in HUSS Graduate Diploma or Masters Degree or through subject coordinator's approval.


Incompatible subjects POL4MSH, POL5MSH

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Core subject the Master of International Development (AMID/AMIDV/AMIDH/HZHPHID/HZPHID)

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsActivists beyond borders : advocacy networks in international politics,RecommendedKeck, M. E. and Sikkink, K.CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS 1998
ReadingsFrom poverty to power,RecommendedGreen, D.OXFAM 2008
ReadingsPower in movement: social movements, collective action, and politics,RecommendedTarrow, S.CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 1994
ReadingsSocial movements, 1768-2004,RecommendedTilly, C.PARADIGM PUBLISHERS 2004
ReadingsActivist wisdom: practical knowledge and creative tension in social movements,PreliminaryMaddison, S. and Scalmer, S.UNSW PRESS 2006
ReadingsActivist's handbook: a primer,PreliminaryShaw, R.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS 2001

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Advanced engagement in critical problem solving through the exploration of a specific example of change and imaginative ways of making change happen.

Group discussions, lectures, case study project and essay.

02. Articulate a sophisticated understanding of different perspectives on change, and how it occurs as well as the obstacles to promoting change.

Group discussions, lectures, case study project and essay.

03. Comprehensively describe the challenges and tensions in attempts to promote social change.

Case study project and essay and presentation.

04. Critically analyse how change happens and be able to express these ideas in a sophisticated manner in written form.

Group discussions, lectures, case study project and essay.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2016, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorTim Thornton

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 31 - 43
One 3.0 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Case study essay (4,000 words)75 01, 02, 03, 04
Critical Book Review (1,000 words).25 01, 02, 03, 04