Human development and mobility in a changing world

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course pertains to the general area of political anthropology and to its sub fields of anthropology of development and of humanitarianism. It presents an introduction to the concept of human development, critically assessing from an anthropological perspective how this notion has emerged within the field of development studies and development policies. In addition, it outlines some major debates on global migratory dynamics with a special focus on the relationships between low and high-income countries (specifically Europe/Africa), on forced migration, refugees and humanitarianism. Whilst the first part of the course highlights general issues and themes related to human development, in a second part specific case-studies will be analyzed, drawing on socio-anthropological research as well as on documentation and studies produced by international organizations (UNDP, UNHCR etc.).
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding

Through a combination of frontal lectures, individual/group presentations, in-class exercises, at the end of the course students should be able to:
1.Critically debate key questions on human development, Africa-Europe migration, development/mobility nexus, humanitarian interventions
2. Develop the capacity for conceptual and ethical reflection on development interventions and mobility policies.

Ability to apply Knowledge and Understanding

3. Analyze specific case studies (country or regional assessments, development projects) from the perspective of human development.
4. Analyze data and documentation on human development, specifically those produced by UN agencies
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
During the ongoing covid emergency, the course syllabus will be maintained with the following changes made to enhance the effectiveness of the online version of the course, which was originally designed for face-to-face teaching.
The lessons will be held in dual mode. The face-to-face lessons will allow the participation of students connected with MSTeams as well as students in the classroom.
The recordings of the lessons will remain available for 24 hours

Online environments used:
Teams: hs2r5i1
Students wishing to participate in face-to-face lessons must refer to the following University provisions:…

Students wishing to participate in MSTeams lessons must refer to the following technical guides:…
To participate in the exam sessions, students must refer to the following provisions:…
Course syllabus
The course is composed of two parts:
Part 1: Introduction to the concept of human development and its contextualization within the more general processes linked to theories and practices of international development.
Part 2: Introduction to the debates related to contemporary South-North migratory dynamics from the point of view of human development, the link between migration and development and the link between relief and development aid in contexts of protracted crisis and "complex emergencies". The course will trace origins and developments of these debates showing, in their emergence and affirmation, the dialectics between the research realm, the institutional realm, the fields of action.
Analysis of a case study of complex emergency, in its link with international mobility and local change processes: Somalia from civil war to protracted instability.
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge required
Teaching methods
Combination of frontal lectures, individual/group presentations, in-class exercises.
Teaching Resources
Part 1:
Rist G., The history of development: from Western origins to global faith. London ; New York : Zed Books, 2008 (Third and later editions). Italian translation: Lo sviluppo: storia di una credenza occidentale. Torino : Bollati Boringhieri, 1997 (and new editions).
[chapters from 1 to 5 and chapter 11 only]

- Deneulin, S., Shahani, L., An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach. Freedom and Agency. London: Earthscan, 2009. (library and free web-download)
[chapters from 1 to 4 and from 11 to 12 only]

Part 2:
The following research papers / reports downloadable from the web (total about 200 pages):

-Hein de Haas, Migration and development. A theoretical perspective. IMI Working Papers, 9/2008.
-Hein de Haas, Mobility and Human Development. Human Development Research Paper 2009/01. UNDP.
-Dylan Hendrickson, Humanitarian action in protracted crises: the new relief 'agenda'and its limits. RRN Network Paper, n. 25/1998.
-FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2010: Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises. FAO Report 2010.

For the case study (about 150 pages):
-Somalia Human Development Report 2001, UNDP.
-Hammond, L., et al., Cash and Compassion: The Role of the Somali Diaspora in Relief, Development and Peace-building. UNDP Somalia, 2011.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam assessing the knowledge of the course key topics, theoretical framework, methodology. Case-study presentation
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Ciabarri Luca