In this class, we will discuss foundational theories of technology and of development that will offer us a way to understand the role of technology in development projects. In the first part of the lecture, we will ask what constitutes technology. While development institutions frequently refer to technology and ICTs as an entity with generalized impact, we will spend our time in the course breaking down the concept. We will consider technology broadly as artifacts, systems, and as techniques. We will take a brief look at popular frameworks of understanding technologies and also discuss at greater length the idea of technological determinism. In the second half, we will discuss the idea of development. Since many discussions of how technology might be applied to alleviate poverty draw implicitly on theories of growth or development, in this lecture, we will point to key approaches, including modernization vs. dependency theories, neoliberalism and new institutionalism.
Please take a look at the three required readings for this class.