Further Information: 

Development practitioners have free access to the book and can also be part of discussions and debates using The companion site.

Contact Name: 
Silvia Caicedo
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  • Includes a Foreword by Amartya Sen
  • A key reference and resource for scholars, graduate students, practitioners, and policy-makers
  • Addresses questions of state, society, economy, security, sustainability, and the real-life experiences of particular countries and organizations
  • Multi-disciplinary contributions from leading scholars and practitioners from the global North and the global South
  • Examines how thinking on development has changed over time
  • Chapters outline critical debates rather than a particular argument or school of thought

Thinking on development informs and inspires the actions of people, organizations, and states in their continuous effort to invent a better world. This volume examines the ideas behind development: their origins, how they have changed and spread over time, and how they may evolve over the coming decades. It also examines how the real-life experiences of different countries and organizations have been inspired by, and contributed to, thinking on development. The extent to which development 'works' depends in part on particular local, historical, or institutional contexts. General policy prescriptions fail when the necessary conditions that make them work are either absent, ignored, or poorly understood. There is a need to grasp how people understand their own development experience. If the countries of the world are varied in every way, from their initial conditions to the degree of their openness to outside money and influence, and success is not centred in any one group, it stands to reason that there cannot be a single recipe for development.

Each chapter provides an analytical survey of thinking about development that highlights debates and takes into account critical perspectives. It includes contributions from scholars and practitioners from the global North and the global South, spanning at least two generations and multiple disciplines. It will be a key reference on the concepts and theories of development - their origins, evolution, and trajectories - and act as a resource for scholars, graduate students, and practitioners.