A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies

Paperback
In this book some of the leading thinkers in development studies trace the history of their multi-disciplinary subject from the late colonial period and its establishment during decolonization all the way through to its contemporary concerns with poverty reduction. They present a critical genealogy of development by looking at the contested evolution and roles of development institutions and exploring changes in development discourses. These recollections, by those who teach, research and practise development, challenge simplistic, unilinear periodizations of the evolution of the discipline, and draw attention to those ongoing critiques of development studies, including Marxism, feminism and postcolonialism, which so often have been marginalized in mainstream development discourse. The contributors combine personal and institutional reflections, with an examination of key themes, including gender and development, NGOs, and natural resource management. The book is radical in that it challenges orthodoxies of development theory and practice and highlights concealed, critical discourses that have been written out of conventional stories of development. The contributors provide different versions of the history of development by inscribing their experiences and interpretations, some from left-inclined intellectual perspectives. Their accounts elucidate a more complex and nuanced understanding of development studies over time, simultaneously revealing common themes and trends, and they also attempt to reposition Development Studies along a more critical trajectory.. The volume is intended to stimulate new thinking on where the discipline may be moving. It ought also to be of great use to students coming to grips with the historical continuities and divergences in the theory and practice of development.