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Urban and Rural Development


Admission requirements

Only the following categories of students can register for this course:

  • Students enrolled for the BA programme “Culturele antropologie en ontwikkelingssociologie” at Leiden University who have passed the Propedeuse

  • Exchange and Study Abroad students: Please see below a description of the registration procedure.

  • Students who have been admitted to this course as part of their pre-master programme for the MA in CA-DS


For the first time in human history more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. At the same time, boundaries between urban and rural areas get increasingly blurred, and urban-rural interrelationships become stronger. Some scholars even argue that the distinction between city and country-side has become obsolete. This major demographic shift requires that, in addition to looking at specific development processes and problems of rural and urban settings, we also have to understand the interrelations between the two.
This course offers a broad perspective, in wich we seek to both analyze and understand ‘typically’ rural and urban settings, and focus on the multiple relationships and interactions that connect these two settings. This means that, in addition to looking at farming communities in remote rural areas and slum dynamics in mega-cities, we will also address themes like migration, agricultural production for urban populations, ecological pressures associated with urban growth, and the flows of ideas that run between urban and rural areas.
The classes and tutorials will include a discussion of a varied reading list that covers all of these themes. The program will include an excursion to a Randstad location, in which you will apply some of the theoretical insights acquired in class. You will also conduct a small research project on a theme of your choice that is connected to the course’s focus, which you will present in the form of a poster.

Course Objectives

  • Acquire theoretical knowledge in the field of urban and rural sociology and anthropology;

  • Develop analytical insight in urban and rural development problems using sociological and anthropological theory;

  • Gain insight into the contribution that development sociology and anthropology can make to rural and urban development policy;

  • Acquire and practice general academic skills.


  • Lectures: Thursdays from 12th of February until 7th of May 2015, 10-13 h in room 5A23.

Mode of instruction

Total of 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu)

6 lectures: 6*3h*1,5 = 27 sbu
6 tutorials: 6*3h*2 = 36 sbu
6 writing assignments of 450 words = 36 sbu
860 pp. literature = 143 sbu
1 poster presentation = 38 sbu

Assesment method

  • 6 writing assignments (including one reflection report on the field trip)

  • Active participation in class discussions (graded)

  • Poster and poster presentation about final project

Re-take is only possible if the final grade is below 6, if student has actively participated in the course and submitted most of the assignments / papers / presentations.

Registration in uSis

  • Registration in Usis is obligatory for the lectures (H) for all participants.

  • Registration for the exam is NOT necessary because this course does not have one final (classical) exam.

  • Registration on Blackboard is obligarory for all participants.

  • NB: Exchange students: You can only register for this course if you had officially been admitted during the Admission Procedure.


Blackboard module will be active.
Students who have been granted admission must register for this course on Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Tanya Li. Land’s End, 2014 (Duke University Press)

  • Cities of the Global South Reader, 2014 (Routledge)

  • Various articles (see syllabus on Blackboard)


Dr. Tessa Minter. Tel: 071-527 3816,
Dr. Henrike Florusbosch. Tel: 071 527 3756, . Office hours: Thu.13-15 h, room 3A31, Pieter de la Courtgebouw