Coordinator: Kurt Finsterbusch | (301) 405-6397kfin [at] umd.edu ( | )
The study of development at the University of Maryland benefits from the many resources of the Washington metropolitan area. We have a diverse, international student group and easy access to centers of development research and planning such as the World Bank. The program studies development at the world system, cultural, national, institutional, organizational, and community levels. It includes theoretical, historical, and practical approaches.
The principal faculty active in the area are Sonalde Desai, Kurt Finsterbusch, Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz and Reeve Vanneman.
Desai has investigated family structure and children’s status in both developing and developed societies. She is also now working on a project on gender inequality and poverty in India. Finsterbusch studies the effectiveness of development projects using evaluations from the World Bank and the Agency for International Development. He also has studied the role of organization building in development. Korzeniewicz has written on how commodity chains are linked to inequality and democratic movements across the world economy. He is currently studying changes in women’s labor force participation in Latin America. Vanneman is investigating stratification changes in India during the last forty years, focusing on gender inequality, landlessness, and the progress of the former untouchables.
Recent student research has studied technological dependence in Brazil, the sugar industry in Brazil, women’s labor force participation in China, migration in Cote d’Ivoire, educational expansion in Europe, declining sex ratios in India, poverty in female headed households in Peru, social movements in Peru, gender differences in industrial employment in South Korea, gender differences in medical care usage in Tanzania, and polygyny in Zambia. Students have also used cross-national data in studies of urban primacy, military expenditures, managerial employment, and women’s labor force participation.
Graduate Student Research Opportunities and Employment
Several faculty have built databases that can be used for graduate student research. Finsterbusch has comparative data on the organization and success of AID development projects; and Deasi and Vanneman has been building a large historical database of district-level data on India. In addition, cross-national data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations are readily available and frequently used in the department.