Development and Emerging Inequalities in Europe

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Term 1
Teaching: 2 hours per week. Lectures

Lecturer: Deema Kaneff

This course looks at the impact of social, economic and political reforms in contemporary Europe. The focus is on understanding the nature and direction of these reforms against the backdrop of ‘grand’ narratives of development (modernisation projects).

While this course is primarily concerned with former socialist states (eastern / central Europe and CIS countries) where the effects of post 1989 / 91 reforms - including privatisation, decentralisation and market de-regulation - have been particularly dire, cases from the rest of Europe are also used for comparative purposes.

The course explores shifts in power and emerging inequalities resulting from such reforms – as well as identifying the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ - as the countries move from centrally controlled to market-driven economies.

The course begins with an examination of models of development: comparing socialist and capitalist (neoliberal) models; focusing on how present reforms are being implemented and the problems and means of resistance. Subsequent weeks discuss more specific ways in which reforms have been played out, always in terms of the central concerns of development and inequality.

Topics covered include: the creation of markets and questions relating to morality; regional inequalities (eg between different parts of Europe); an expanding informal economy and corruption; and diversity based on gender, generation and ethnicity.

By the end of the course students will have:

  • Explored the reasons for rising inequalities in contemporary Europe
  • Looked critically at models of progress and development - how reforms are being implemented and unintended consequences of such policies
  • Recognised the importance of local perspectives in understanding wider - global - processes


  • One 4,000 word essay (90%)
  • One book review / presentation (10%)