Friday, July 25th, 2014...10:53 am

Incoming MPA Student Reaches-out to Faculty To Develop Ultimate International Development Summer Reading List!

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The Ultimate MIIS Reading List

The Ultimate MIIS Reading List

Returning to school after some time away from academia is a precious challenge. However being in school is also a commodity. While most of my undergraduate peers are beginning their careers, perhaps even starting to put down roots, graduate students choose to go back to school in order to further their education and get closer to their career goals. As a recently accepted Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), I understand the initial fears and concerns students may have upon starting a new program. It has been about four months since I received the good news and I have had plenty of time to determine how I feel about attending MIIS in the fall. Although I am overall excited and grateful, I am honestly a bit nervous. Seeing that my academic skills seemed rusty I took it upon myself to email the MPA program faculty requesting ideas, readings, books, articles, and any other resource I should look at before classes start in August. Unsurprisingly, the faculty was supportive and accommodating. The following is a list of 18 recommended readings from Monterey Institute MPA and MAIPS faculty:

  1. Take a look online at William Arrocha’s and Nuket Khardam’s syllabi for their development theory courses here at MIIS.
  2. Study and absorb UNDP’s concept of human development.
  3. Browse the last ten years of the World Bank’s World Development Report.
  4. The Anti-Politics Machine by James Ferguson
  5. Ideas for Development by Robert Chambers
  6. Provocations for Development by Robert Chambers
  7. The Honor Code by Kwame Appiah
  8. Capital by Thomas Piketty (Editor’s Note: The GSIPM Dean may take you out to lunch if you read every word of this 600-page monster!)
  9. The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly
  10. Social Physics by Alex Pentland
  11. Humble Enquiry by Edgar Schein
  12. Power of Development by Jonathon Crush
  13. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  14. The Routes of Man by Ted Conover
  15. Why Nations Fail by Daren Acemoglu
  16. Encountering Development by Arturo Escobar
  17.  “Organizational Assessment: a Framework for Improving Performance” (Free book available here
  18. To get more immersed in policy, review the articles in (This website publishes policy concerns and ideas of leading global thinkers and policymakers).

After taking a look at this list, it became apparent that in order to succeed at MIIS, students must be engaged and passionate about their programs. Without a passion and thirst for knowledge, completing a graduate degree program would be an insurmountable task. Incoming MIIS students may be a bit hesitant or nervous about the challenge ahead. Although these feelings are natural, it is necessary to rise above, be proactive and start to materialize your short and long-term goals. MIIS provides the resources and opportunities; it is up to us, the incoming graduate students to bring the passion and innovation. It is time to start preparing and planning for a bright future here at MIIS. About the Author: Chris Callaghan is an incoming Master of Public Administration (MPA) Candidate for the fall 2014 semester. He is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz.

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