Capstone Course in Development Studies

The Minor in Development Studies culminates in a capstone experience, which completes the student's work that started with the introductory course and the specialized electives related to development studies. A faculty Capstone Committee comprised of 3 faculty members will oversee the capstone experience. 

For complete information about the structure and requirements of the minor and the details and structure of the capstone experience, click here.
See summary below for the final projects for the Capstone in Development Studies.

Final Projects for Capstone in Development Studies, Spring 2015

Testing the modulatory effects of micronutrient status on the food insecurity-mental illness pathway in rural Haiti
Andy Kim (Major: Anthropology and Human Biology, Minor: Development Studies)

This project assessed the modulatory role that folic acid status plays in explaining the relationship between food insecurity and poor mental health among rural Haitians. Using data from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the Central Plateau and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), the findings of this study speak to the importance of maintaining adequate micronutrient stores during development, broadening the definition of food insecurity, and using culturally-adapted surveys for global mental health research, practice, and policy. 

Participatory Development with Youth: Case Study of Ruwwad in Amman, Jordan
Eunjee Anna Koh (Major: Anthropology and Human Biology, Minor: Development Studies)

The research will be looking at a community empowerment organization called Ruwwad based in Jabal Al-Natheef in East Amman, Jordan. The organization is unique in that they provide scholarships for higher education through university, college, and vocational training for disadvantaged youth from this community. The organization uses asset-based community development using the scholarship youth as an asset for community development. The scholarship program requires the youth to devote four hours of their time weekly to a community service project in the community taking individual passion and interest into account when selecting specific youth for a project. I would like to investigate the impact of incorporating community service into the scholarship program seen through the opinions of the participating youth and staff members who select the potential youth for the scholarship. The methodologies that will be used for data collection include interviews and material culture given by publications from the organization.

Women in Pakistan: A Critical Evaluation of Gender Inequality via the Millennium Development Goals
Salaar Ahmed (Major: Economics, Minor: Development Studies)

The Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) are eight international goals focused primarily on development in the third world. The eight broad goals, with further sub-targets, were adopted in 2000 and were intended to be successfully reached by 2015.  However, progress varies by country; some countries have been more successful than others in achieving these goals.  Pakistan’s progress, tracked through the lens of these goals, provides us with an interesting example in this context. Despite being a country rich in natural and human resources, Pakistan has failed to realize its true potential till now due to lingering problems that have severely obstructed its development.  Of the 16 targets and 41 indicators adopted against which progress towards achieving the MDG’s is measured, Pakistan is only on track to achieve 9 whereas it is unlikely to achieve 25 of the targets given the current state of progress.

Building a Caliphate: Exploring the State-Building Efforts of the Islamic State
Peter Habib (Major: Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Minor: Development Studies)

A Corpus Linguistic Analysis of Double Tax Treaties between United Kingdom, Nigeria and Kenya
Aziza Hart (Major: Anthropology, Minor: Development Studies)

My capstone project corpus linguistically analyzed two double taxation treaties (DTTs), one between the United Kingdom and Nigeria and the second between the United Kingdom and Kenya, to prove or disprove if there were any clauses within these documents that facilitated continuing colonial influences of the United Kingdom.

Final Projects for Capstone in Development Studies, Spring 2014

Voluntourism: An Instrument for Inclusive and Sustainable Development
by Gabriela Nowalski Nagel (Major: Economics; Minor: Development Studies)

The purpose of this Capstone research project is to study how voluntourism programs in Costa Rica can contribute to the country's sustainable economic and social development. Specifically the program will address the challenges of the increasing social and economic asymmetries and poverty within the Chorotega Region.

Rethinking Immigration and Economic Development in South Africa 
by Hannah Coleman (Major: International Studies; Minor: Development Studies)

My paper explores the theoretical debate surrounding immigration. I use South Africa as a case study to discuss how immigration holds the potential to benefit development programs within the country.  Furthermore, I discuss how a more inclusive policy for foreign migrants could help improve South Africa's economy.

Institutions as a Cause of Upgrading: The Case of the Chinese Rubber Industry 
by Matthew Pesce (Major: Political Science; Minor: Development Studies)

This paper analyzes the political motivations for the creation and evolution of institutions present in the Chinese rubber industry. It also examines the effect that these institutions have on the development of the industry. It finds that a correlation exists between institutions and upgrading. It also finds that concerns related to security, technology, and economic growth led to the creation of these institutions. 

Matthew is the 2014 recipient of the Lucius Lamar McMullan Award. See Emory Report article found here.

Final Projects for Capstone in Development Studies, Spring 2013

Below is a summary of the two final projects for the Capstone in Development Studies in Spring Semester, 2013 by students Agnes Choi and Rachael Westmorelan

Crafting an Answer through Witchcraft
by Agnes Choi
(Major: Biology; Minor: Development Studies)

Choi's final project focused on the brain drain - the exit of professionally trained men and women from lesser-developed countries to more developed nations. Moving beyond the usual push (poor economy) and pull (the notion of better chances elsewhere), she analyzed the role that cultural attributes, such as witchcraft, play in preventing medically trained professionals from staying to work as doctors and nurses in Malawi. By focusing equally on the process of socialization in Malawian medical school and the history of witchcraft in the country, Choi concluded that major development banks and aid agencies may be wrongly conceptualizing the brain drain problem. Instead of assuming that the economy is the main reason that people leave, she argues that there exist `no return' factors that prevent individuals from working in their own country - especially the rural areas - and makes employment in another country a safer and more productive option.

Whose Elephant is it Anyway?: An analysis of development discourses and stakeholder involvement in the Makuleke community-based natural resource management agreement
by Rachael Westmoreland (Major: Environmental Studies; Minor: Development Studies)

Westmoreland's final project examines the Makuleke community land claim and settlement in Kruger National Park, South Africa. The settlement and the surrounding struggles and contradictions show how this example of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) is fraught with both internal and external tensions. Specifically, she examines the different perspectives and intentions at the local, national, and international level. Her analysis shows how the disparate ideas of how the land within the Parfuri Triangle should be used, has led to a settlement that is not fully satisfactory to any group of stakeholders. Thus, Westmoreland argues, it is likely that this land claim will become a point of contestation again in the future, but a greater understanding of the complexity of stakeholder positions and intentions may make for more productive future settlements.