TRP6019 Governance and Participation in the Global South

Module Coordinator: Dr Glyn Williams


Tel: 0114 222 6179

Room: D11e

Module Overview

This module will look at two themes within international development which have risen to global prominence since the late 20th century: the quality of governance, and the role of people’s participation in the planning and delivery of development programmes. Both themes are fundamental to specific policy agendas around delivering ‘good governance’, enhancing public participation and ‘deepening’ democracy, all of which have become important in shaping the relationships between governments and citizens in the global South.

The module will look critically at agendas to change state-society relationships, examining their underlying assumptions and their impacts on people living in the Global South. Who is shaping these agendas? How well are their objectives suited to the vastly different practices of governance that exist across the Global South? Are people resisting them and if so what form does this resistance take? What are their effects in transforming the relationships between citizens and states in the places where they are implemented?

Study Hours

The university recommends that you spend 150 hours on a 15-credit module. This will include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Self study

Module Breakdown

Week 1: Introduction: state-society relations and governance in the global South
Week 2:
 The ‘good governance’ agenda: origins, impacts and critiques
Week 3: 
Governmentality, participation and planning
Week 4: 
Scaling-up participatory planning in African cities
Week 5: 
No class
Week 6: 
The urban governance of mega-projects in Shanghai
Week 7:
 Participatory budgeting: a good idea stretching too far?
Week 8: Protest, ‘parallel participation’ and contentious politics
Week 9: 
Groups to work on presentations
Week 10:
Student presentation workshop 


  • 3,000-word essay (100%)

Key Readings

  • Hickey, S. and G. Mohan (eds.). 2004. Participation: From Tyranny to Transformation? London: Zed Books.
  • Fung, A and Wright, E O (eds). 2003. Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance. New York: Verso.
  • Williams, G; Meth, P and Willis K. 2014. Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World. London: Routledge (particularly chapters 6, 9 and 11)

Skills Badging

USP Specialist Skills - Students will develop key 'global skills' through a series of 'masterclasses' that focus on different parts of the global South and explore global diversity and change.

Communication Skills - Students will engage in seminar discussions and small group work as well as making an (unassessed) presentation of their case study at the end of the course.

Analytical & Problem Solving Skills - Students will engage with a range of debates on governance and participation, and use these to critically analyse a case study of their choosing through their assessment essay.

Before you start...

  • Chari, S. and Corbridge, S. 2008. The Development Reader. London: Routledge (particularly Part 7).
  • Fox, S, and Goodfellow, T. Cities and Development. London: Routledge (especially Chapter 8).
  • Williams, G; Meth, P and Willis K. 2014. Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World. London: Routledge (particularly chapters 6, 9 and 11).