Bethlehem University Graduate Catalog 2020-2021

Shucri Ibrahim Dabdoub Faculty of Business Administration/ Department of Business Administration/ Course description


Methodology of Social Research / 2 Credit Hours
This module will illustrate why different research methods respond to different types of questioning in the social sciences. Quantitative and qualitative questioning differ inasmuch as the first tends to understand causal or statistical inferences, while the other tries to offer an interpretation of social actions. The main goal of the module is to enable students to get familiar with the process of formulating hypotheses, understanding the role of variables, and linking research designs with the most appropriate methodologies. Such a goal will be met by three kinds of activities: a) lectures on the theoretical foundations of different methodologies; b) open debates on selected readings which represent concrete applications of different methods of social research; c) individual exercises in drafting a research plan.

Macroeconomics / 1 Credit Hour
This module will cover the main concepts of macroeconomic theory, with a particular focus on open economies. First, the meaning of the principal macroeconomic indicators will be discussed, starting from the components of GDP. Then, the Aggregate Demand - Aggregate Supply model will be introduced in detail, providing a key to understanding the fundamental dynamics which regulate the equilibrium of whole economic systems. The effects produced by fiscal and monetary policies will be analyzed. Moreover, the trade-off between unemployment and inflation – the so-called “twin evils” of macroeconomics - will be analyzed. Several references to the Palestinian context will be made throughout the lectures.

Development Indicators / 1 Credit Hour
The Human Development Index is a well-known indicator for measuring development with a single figure catching dimensions other than income. How is it built? And what other indicators should be considered when analyzing social, economic and cultural features of a context, so as to describe them in a standardized language for comparison purposes? This module will address such questions, drawing the students closer to the heart of development issues. Reports published by international agencies will be introduced as sources of primary relevance. Demographic and economic indicators will be discussed in a cross-country comparative perspective, with a particular attention to time series describing historical trends. Basic inequality indicators will be presented as well in order to highlight social and economic gaps within a population.

Software Applications / Optional
A good familiarity with many software applications is a prerequisite for development agents. This module will provide a hands-on training on several applications, including Microsoft Access, Excel and Powerpoint. The advanced functions of relevant software will be explored to enable students to exploit them at their fullest potential. Creating and managing databases, preparing charts, designing graphs and preparing effective presentations are skills to be mastered to improve the quality of analytical projects as well as administrative tasks. What might be perceived as dry technicalities, are in fact powerful resources for development.
This module is optional and it does not require assessment, but attendance is strongly recommended.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite

MICD511 - MIDDLE EAST ISSUES - 3 credits

Middle East Politics / 1 Credit Hour
This module aims at providing an introduction to the study of politics in the Middle East through a focus on a number of contemporary issues such as political religion, gender, democracy and the role of external actors. It also sets out to offer an historical perspective on how current situations emerged. By the end of the course, students should be familiar with key themes and issues in the study of the region and equipped with the conceptual and analytical tools required in order to understand them.
The topics addressed by the lectures will include the legacy of colonialism in the Middle East, the emergence of pan-Arabism, the birth and evolution of modern Arab states, the issue of political Islam and its evolving relationship with democracy and the role of external actors.

Contemporary History of the Middle East / 1 Credit Hour
Starting from the end of the First World War and the results of the War, this module will trace the history of the Middle East with a particular focus on the second half of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st century. The lectures will cover all major events related to the Middle East, including the partition of the Arab East, 1916-1921, the Balfour Declaration and the ensuing Arab-Israeli conflict, the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, the Suez crisis of 1956, the 1967 War which led to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the 1973 War, the oil crisis, the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s and the Gulf war of the early 1990s. Finally, the most recent years will be analysed in order to provide a deeper understanding of the contemporary Middle East context, still characterized by internal and external tension and turmoil.

Economic Relations of the Middle East / 1 Credit Hour
This module is meant to provide an outlook on the main features of the regional economic system, trying to highlight its strengths, weaknesses and degree of integration in the global economy. The main international trade channels which involve the Middle East will be described, obviously starting from its natural resources. Particular attention will be given to labor-related issues, productivity, unemployment, wages and the economies of remittances, which are tightly connected to migrations. The economic structure of the countries bordering with Palestine will be outlined, while a close-up on the Palestinian economy will conclude the lectures.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


International law / 1.5 Credit Hours

International law is the body of treaty or custom based rules that govern and regulate the interactions and relations between nations, international organizations and, to a lesser degree, multinational corporations and individuals. Public international law has increased in use and importance vastly over the twentieth century, due mainly to armed conflict, the increase in global trade, environmental deterioration on a worldwide scale and human rights violations. This module will cover the building blocks of public international law: the nature and subjects of international law; statehood; the law of treaties; the peaceful settlement of international disputes; the legitimate use of force and sanctions; and basic principles of International Humanitarian Law.

Institutions of the European Union / 1 Credit Hour
Recently enlarged to 27 members comprising more than 450 million people, the European Union represents one of the most complex entities on the global scene. How was it born, and how does it work? Analyzing its internal organization is crucial in order to understand the economic, social and political shape of the continent. The lectures will address the different aspects of the European Union, with a particular attention to the features of the common market and the monetary union, but also to the actual rights of EU citizenship. After a brief review of the European integration process and a description of its founding pillars, the lectures will open the debate on topical issues such as the common foreign policy, the protection measures for the domestic economy, the alleged democratic gap between citizens and institutions, and the relations with ACP countries. To this particular regard, references will be made to the institutional framework designed to implement the EU development aid policies, EuropeAid and ECHO.

International Politics and Relations / 1.5 Credit Hours
This module will consider how the modern international system, or “community of States”, has constructed state sovereignty in relation to the concept of “nation”, commonly viewed as the origin of a state while more often it is the result. While realist theory is useful to understand power relations between states, understanding the interdependence between international and domestic politics requires a constructivist approach. Constructivist theory approaches the international system as an evolving set of rules and norms. Through this lens, it will appear evident that race, ethnicity, culture, territory, and other doctrines about national identity have had changing significance to state legitimacy. The lectures will explore the application of this theoretical framework by reviewing the Question of Palestine as it has evolved in international debates from the 1920s.

Child Rights / 1 Credit Hour
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) is the most `complete` human rights treaty in that it contains all the civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights of children, and also covers some areas usually associated with international humanitarian law. The UN CRC re-emphasizes that children are holders of rights, and their rights cover all aspects of their lives. It applies to all human beings under the age of 18. The roots of the UN CRC can be traced back to 1924 when the League of Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, written by Eglantyne Jebb, the founder of Save the Children. In 1948 the UDHR recognized the “special nature of childhood and motherhood”, and in 1959 the UN adopted a Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Other human rights treaties of course refer to children and all of their provisions apply to children However, it was felt that children needed a separate convention and a clearer definition of children's legal status under the international law. After a 10 year drafting process the UN CRC was adopted by the United Nations on 20th November 1989.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite

MICD515 - SOCIAL ISSUES - 2 credits

Sociology of Development / 1 Credit Hour
The purpose of this module is to familiarize students with some of the central theories and concepts that have dominated debates on social development from a global, comparative and historical perspective. The module addresses the dynamics of social change in relation to political economy. In particular, the lectures will examine how discourses of underdevelopment and development emerged and became institutionalized in the context of decolonization, the Cold War and the Global Project. The module looks at how the Western notions of process and social development were articulated around the notion that Third World countries could catch up with the First World. At the same time, some critiques to the modernization model and its related dependency on global hegemony will be discussed. To this regard, the emergence of counter movements to the globalization project, represented by civil societies and social groups, will be analysed as a new, powerful actor on the global stage.

Anthropology of Development / 1 Credit Hour
The goal of this module is equipping the students with skills and methodology for analyzing the cultural meanings of development and humanitarian processes. To this regard, a peculiar focus will be given to the skills of “observation”, often underestimated or superficially acknowledged. The lectures will analyze the points of view, interests, strategies and systems of action of the local population as well as those of the practitioners. Moreover, this module will tackle the phase of transition from short-term humanitarian assistance to long-term development, which can be differently described as a continuum or a contiguum. It will stress on coping mechanisms of local populations, indigenous responses to crises including the use and understandings of violent and non-violent means. It will finally stress on notion of ownership, participation, quality and accountability of projects.
Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


Microeconomics / 2 Credit Hours
Economics will be introduced as a theory of choice on the optimal allocation of limited resources: the basic concepts of trade-off and opportunity cost, rational behavior, marginal thinking, incentives, efficiency and comparative advantages are some of the key concepts that will be clarified. After introducing the circular-flow diagram and the production possibility frontier, the lectures will analyze the market demand and supply curves, the natural equilibrium set by the “invisible hand” and the several determinants which make the curves shift and the equilibrium change. The analysis of competitive markets will represent the focal point, but the basic features of non-competitive markets will be highlighted as well, with peculiar attention to the many assumptions upon which models are built. Also, the trade-off between efficiency and equity will be discussed in order to point out its complex significance in the development perspective. To this regard, references will be made to welfare economics and the measurement of social surplus.

Quantitative Methods / 1 Credit Hours
This module will introduce a series of statistical tools commonly used in quantitative analysis. The focus of the Module is on reading statistics in a critical way, understanding their degree of reliability and extrapolating information from different indicators which may be taken as evidence for second-level analysis. The main indicators used to describe certain features in a given population will be presented, including measures of dispersion and central tendency. The lectures will also address the concept of probability, with a particular focus on the Normal distribution of a variable. Moreover, students will be guided through the analysis of causal relations between two variables, identifying the strength of association as well as its direction. Finally, specific software for data analysis will be presented (SPSS).

International Monetary Economics and International Trade / 1 Credit Hour
In recent years international monetary topics such as exchange rate adjustments, balance of payments crises, the international financial architecture or the functioning of Monetary Unions, have strongly moved into the forefront of analysts, practitioners, policy makers and students alike. Financial crises have dominated the 90's and international economic policymakers are currently confronted with the urgent problem to reform the international financial architecture through which crises can be predicted, prevented and dispatched. The end of the millennium, moreover, witnessed the birth of the European Monetary Union and the emergence of the nations of Eastern Europe has given rise to a host of new issues pertaining to their future monetary relationship with current EMU member countries. The object of this module is to provide with an introduction to the above major topics, together with an analytical framework designed to facilitate their understanding. In particular, the module will concentrate on the following core issues: concepts and relationships involving exchange rates and balance of payments magnitudes; the construction of a simple open economy model to analyse the exchange rate, interest rate and output effects of major changes in monetary policy and to investigate the choice of the exchange-rate regime; optimum currency area theories; models of speculative attacks on fixed–exchange rate regime; the role of international financial institution and IMF reform proposals.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


Development Economics / 1 Credit Hour
This module will provide a basic analytical treatment of fundamental issues in Development Microeconomics, delivering a general but rigorous knowledge of the role of agents' behaviors and of the economic-institutional incentives that influence such behaviors. The Lewis model will constitute the conceptual framework for enquiring how the rural sector affects economic development. A Keynesian perspective will be sketched out as well. Emphasis will be put on technological progress and industrialization as keys to development. The Harris-Todaro model will be the benchmark for the analysis of the other side of structural change: urbanization and the birth of the informal sector in highly densely populated urban areas. This model mainly focuses on the arbitrage between urban expected wage and rural wage as the main factor behind mass migration towards cities. Finally, the lectures will deal with countryside organization, landowners-tenants contracts and land reform, analyzing the vicious factors that explain large land holdings and hamper distributional changes that would enhance overall productivity.

Economic Integration and International Cooperation / 1 Credit Hour
This module will move from the analysis of two major scholars in development issues, both from India: R. Kanbur (The Economics of International Aid) and K. Basu (Globalization, poverty, inequality: what is the relation? What can be done?). These papers will provide the framework for opening the debate on two fronts: the aid-economy and its related traps, and the alleged trade-off between poverty and inequality, which might be considered as a mirror of the trade-off between efficiency and equity. The impact of development aid at micro and macro levels will be analysed, trying to evaluate its power in compensating the three traditional gaps suffered by developing countries: the gap in savings, tax revenue and financial stock. Finally, the module will outline the major features of the aid economy in Palestine.

International Development Finance / 1 Credit Hour
This module will be divided into two sections: the first will deal with financial development tools at macro-level, with a specific focus on loans to governments of developing countries by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The differences between these two institutions will be discussed, as well as the conditions to be met in order to be eligible for a loan. Moreover, the first section will address the issue of foreign debt, which represents one of the major burdens on the path of development. In particular, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC) will be presented. The second section will focus on the micro-level of development finance, including micro-credit and micro-finance programs. The origin, features, opportunities and reliability of micro-credit will be discussed, making use of specific case studies. Micro-credit is in continuous expansion and it has been successfully introduced in many different contexts. The growing recognition of its relevance as a grassroots development tool has been recently emphasized by the Nobel Prize awarded to Mohammed Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


Project Cycle Management / 2 Credit Hours
This module will introduce the six basic steps of the Project Cycle as adopted by the European Community, including Planning, Identification, Formulation-Appraisal, Financing, Implementation-Monitoring, Evaluation. In particular, these lectures will focus on planning and implementation, in synergy with the following modules.
The module will provide an overview on PCM and analyze the different techniques to carry out feasibility studies and translate needs assessments into projects. Topics of discussion include the following: performing SWOT analysis and stakeholder analysis, building partnerships, using a participatory approach, sharing tasks with partners, planning for development VS planning for emergency; keeping relations between headquarters and field offices; logistics.

Budget Analysis and Design / 1 Credit Hours
Following PCM and Logical Framework, comes the task of looking into the details of budget design. This module will focus on the financial part of the project-building activity, which is crucial to attain accountability. Evaluating reasonable costs, avoiding wastes and planning expenditures efficiently represent valuable skills for a project designer. First, students will practice reading and interpreting the budget of a sample project, and afterwards they will practice drafting a budget related to a chronogram. Different kinds of eligible expenditures - such as personnel, material, local manpower, vehicles, administrative costs etc. - will be described and proper unit indicators will be used.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation / 1 Credit Hours
After having underlined the relevance of constant monitoring to assess the progress of activities, this module will provide the students with the necessary competences for determining proper indicators and suitable criteria to measure the outcome of a project. Students will be introduced to the most widely used forms of indicator analysis. The lectures will highlight the difference between monitoring and evaluation, being the first dynamic and the second static, either ex-ante or ex-post. Then, the main criteria for evaluation will be introduced: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, transparency, sustainability. Particular attention will be dedicated to sustainability, sometimes considered but a mirage. Rightly so? The module will also highlight the importance of self-evaluation, and it will shed light on mid-term and final report writing.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite

MICD524 - SPECIFIC TOPICS - 3 credits

Human Development: Theories at Work / 1 Credit Hour
Making all development projects human-rights aware. This is the goal of the Human Rights Based Approach, which will be introduced in this module as a bridge between theoretical notions and field practice. Qualified experts will guide the students into the process of operationalization of concepts, which calls development agents to reflect their cultural and professional background into their actions. The lectures will make several references to case studies in different contexts, examine real data and discuss the actual meaning of human development indicators. Live simulations will help students in avoiding neglecting human rights when drafting project proposals. But this is only the first step: human rights should not remain on paper and be practiced all throughout the phases of a project cycle.

Emergency Interventions / 1 Credit Hour
This module enriches the MICAD curriculum of studies with a strong insight on the main issues related to emergency interventions. After a detailed classification of the different kinds of emergencies which may require external support - including natural disasters and conflict scenarios - the lectures will address some of the most relevant questions in the field, starting from evaluating how appropriate it is to take action. To this regard, it is essential to consider the specific features of governmental and non-governmental emergency actors. If intervention is considered appropriate, besides urgent, then the quality and quantity of such intervention is analyzed by making a link with the Project Cycle Management theory. The time factor will be a core issue. At the same time, the difficult relations between political, humanitarian and logistic levels will be discussed, making reference to several contexts and case studies. Finally, the lectures will try to place emergency interventions in the wider framework of development, highlighting problems and incentives to move from one stage to the next.

Sustainable Development / 1 Credit Hour
Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: The concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs. This module will help the students to also to better understand the Sustainable Development`s goals and its implementation with a strong and specific focus on environmental issues.
Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


Principles of Governance and Management / 1.5 Credit Hours
The concept of Governance was elaborated in the early 1980s when the World Bank defined it "a criterion to evaluate deeply indebted countries in order to determine their creditworthiness." Soon afterwards the meaning of governance has widened to include all management practices needed to make an institution trustworthy, and thus effective in its actions and interactions. Nowadays the concept of governance is considered a cornerstone of sustainable development, possibly more decisive than economic growth: oftentimes the roots of poverty lay in the lack of governance rather than in the lack of resources. Accountability, transparency, predictability and participation are the four pillars of governance, and they will be thoroughly explored by the lectures with specific references to the Palestinian context.
The second part of the module will focus on the specific features of the nonprofit sector, including NGOs, cooperatives, associations. The lectures will describe the structural characteristics of NGOs, highlighting sound management principles for achieving objectives. Fund-raising techniques, donor-NGO relations and the concept of social accountability will be other topics of study. Management principles of NGOs will be compared to the ones of small enterprises in order to highlight differences and similarities.

Accounting / 1.5 Credit Hours
The goal of this module is providing the students with the fundamental tools for understanding financial transactions in the environment of no-profit organizations and small businesses. Such an understanding is a crucial asset in any decision-making process. The module will be developed along three lines: first, the main principles of accounting theory will be introduced; second, the purposes and features of Financial Statement, Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Cash Flow will be described; third, a number of case studies and exercises will be presented in class. The role of investments, the distinction between fixed and variable costs, and the analysis of costs VS revenues and assets VS liabilities will be also discussed.
Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


International Cooperation and Development Aid Policies / 1 Credit Hour
At governmental level, international cooperation can be considered a recent branch of the foreign policy implemented by most industrialized countries, since it has always been inspired by a complex mix of political and humanitarian considerations. The earliest instance of international cooperation can be found in after-war Europe, where the victorious powers participated in the huge, collective effort of rebuilding the continent. Afterwards, following the decolonization process, development aid policies were directed towards emerging countries in the south of the world, and the civil society increasingly got involved in international cooperation activities. This module will explore the main historical steps, evolving schools of thought and political reasons for engaging in international cooperation, both at governmental and non-governmental level. Particular attention will be dedicated to the determinants of development aid, which establish geographical and sectoral priorities. OECD statistics and figures will be reviewed and critically discussed. The Emergency and Development components of Official Development Assistance will be compared, and the increasing role of remittances from migrants to their home countries will be highlighted as a parallel flow to development aid.

Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Strategies / 1 Credit Hour
This module will review the main tools developed in different times and places for civil and governmental peace-building activities, trying to highlight their strengths, weaknesses and usefulness in the Israeli-Palestinian scenario. A field of topical interest, Peace Studies will explore the different dimensions of conflict, ranging from economics to culture, from religion to ethnicity. Making reference to several historical experiences, the lectures will emphasize that, however difficult it might be, there is no sustainable alternative to peaceful relations among peoples. Students will be engaged in active simulations of dispute resolutions through peaceful means, such as negotiation, mediation, inquiry and conciliation.

Human Rights / 1 Credit Hours
What are exactly human rights? Who is entitled to human rights? And how can human rights be guaranteed and safeguarded? Some answers to these questions can be found in documents like the Universal Declaration of 1948, the two Covenants of 1966 and other legal instruments protecting positive and negative rights. Other answers, at times conflicting, can be found in customs. The lectures will describe the main theories on human rights; the progressive codification of human rights; the universal character of human rights VS the claim of cultural relativism; the nature and content of human rights obligations and the role of the United Nations in promoting the respect of human rights. Finally, some issues of the contemporary human rights debate will be discussed, i.e. the third generation of human rights; the right to development, and the new Optional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


Development Theories: From Modernization to Globalization / 1 Credit Hour
Making all development projects human rights-aware. This is the goal of the Human Rights Based Approach, which will be introduced in this module as a bridge between theoretical notions and field practice. Qualified experts will guide the students into the process of operationalization of concepts, which calls development agents to reflect their cultural and professional background into their actions. The lectures will make several references to case studies in different contexts, examine real data and discuss the actual meaning of human development indicators. Live simulations will help students in avoiding neglecting human rights when drafting project proposals. But this is only the first step: human rights should not remain on paper and be practiced all throughout the phases of a project cycle.

Gender Issues / 1 Credit Hour
Often placed within the vulnerable groups of most societies, women have historically encountered remarkable difficulties in being recognized an equal social, economic, and cultural status of men. Nowadays the struggle for equal opportunities still remains crucial in many countries. The existence itself of gender issues is sometimes denied recognition due to a number of cultural factors. Hence, the need of spreading awareness in the first place, at all levels. This module will highlight the main obstacles on the way of women's empowerment, and will provide the conceptual keys for planning development activities with a gender perspective. The goal of these lectures will be to make students familiar with some crucial assumptions and findings of gender studies and develop a gender-sensitive perspective in society and their particular workings fields. The pedagogical approach will rely on a range of different methods which aim at involving the students in an active way so as to connect the topics with their life experiences. The following methods will be applied: visual supports, group work, case work, text work, constant interaction with the students.

Human Development and the Capability Approach / 1 Credit Hour
This module aims to analyze the normative dimensions of development policy and practice and to present the capability approach as a normative framework to evaluate policy, and as basis for the human development paradigm. It will enable students to critically analyse development policy with the key concepts of the capability approach (wellbeing, capabilities, agency, public reasoning and democracy) as well as to examine how to frame development policy and interventions which respect the fundamental principles of the human development approach. All of this will take place through helping students to contextualise the human development approach with regard to notions of economic growth, social justice, institutions, gender, sustainability and democracy and through the identification of the implications of this ethical perspective of development for the framing, implementation and evaluation of development policy and interventions.

Pre Requisite: No prerequisite


The final thesis is a written paper focusing on any development issue considered relevant by the candidate, in agreement with the supervisor and the tutor. Students can choose the topic on the basis of their interest and their experience; they can directly refer to the project they work on or analyze a development issue from a theoretical perspective. The supervisor will closely follow the student's work and offer references, comments and suggestions. Nevertheless, the thesis represents the outcome of an individual academic effort, and it provides the opportunity for developing autonomous research capacities.
Pre Requisite: No prerequisite

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-202-526-6097
Fax: +1-202-526-6096
Washington, DC USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine