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The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith

By: Gilbert Rist

292 pages, no illustrations

Zed Books

Paperback | Dec 2008 | Edition: 3 | #179945 | ISBN-13: 9781848131897
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.99 $25/€21 approx

About this book

Gilbert Rist provides a complete and powerful overview of what the idea of development has meant throughout history. He traces it from its origins in the Western view of history, through the early stages of the world system, the rise of US hegemony, the supposed triumph of the third world, through to new concerns about the environment and globalization. In two completely new chapters on the Millennium Development Goals and post-development thinking, Rist brings the book completely up to date. Throughout, he argues persuasively that development has been no more than a collective delusion, which in reality has only resulted in widening market relations, despite the good intentions of its advocates.

`At a time when globalization and humanitarian interventions are taking over from development, this book should help us understand why development has led so many well-intentioned people astray....It presents complex debates with great clarity, provides an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the literature and should prove essential reading for students and others interested, or involved, in development.' Marie-Dominque Perrot, IUED

'If you want to understand the ideological forces that have shaped North-South relations for half a century, you need this remarkable book.' - Susan George 'It presents complex debates with great clarity, provides an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the literature and should prove essential reading for students and others interested, or involved, in development.' - Marie-Dominique Perrot, IUED 'A much needed corrective to the work of the cheerleaders of the newly globalized order.... This book does an outstanding job.' - Jan Knippers Black, Journal of Developing Areas


Preface to the Second Edition Introduction 1. Definitions of Development - Conventional Thinking - A Methodological Word of Caution - Elements of a Definition - A Scandalous Definition? - 'Development' as an element in the Religion of Modernity 2. Metamorphoses of a Western Myth - What the Metaphor Implies - Landmarks in the Western View of History - Conclusion 3. The Making of a World System - Colonization - The League of Nations and the Mandate System - Conclusion 4. The Invention of Development - President Truman's Point Four - A New World View: 'Underdevelopment' - US Hegemony - A New Paradigm - The 'Development' Age 5. The International Doctrine and Institutions Take Root - The Bandung Conference - The New International 'Development' Agencies 6. Modernisation poised between History and Prophecy - A Philosophy of History: Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth - Anti-communism or Marxism without Marx? - Dissident Voices: Francois Perroux and Dudley Seers 7. The Periphery and the Understanding of History - Neo-Marxism in the USA - The Latin American dependentistas - A New Paradigm, but Age-old Presuppositions 8. Self-Reliance: The Communal Past as a Model for the Future - Ujamaa and the Tanzanian Experience - The Principles of Self-Reliance - Possible Futures for Autonomy 9. The Triumph of Third Worldism - The New International Economic Order - An Original Voice: The 1975 Dag Hammarskjold Foundation - Report on Another Development - In the Wake of the NIEO: Further Proposals - The Basic Needs Approach - Conclusion 10. The Environment or the New Nature of 'Development' - The Return to Classical Economics, plus a few humanitarian extras - 'Sustainable Development' or Growth Everlasting? - The Earth Summit - Reflections on Deliberate Ambiguity 11. A Mixture of Realism and Fine Sentiments - The South Commission - UNDP and 'Human Development' 12. The Post-Modern Illusion: Globalisation as a Simulacrum of 'Development' - On the Usefulness of Talking at Cross-purposes - Organisations on Reprieve or in Mutation? - Globalisation or a Return to Normal? - Virtual Reality as a Refuge for Continuing Belief - Beyond Development 13. Some Thoughts on What is to be Done 14. The Struggle Against Poverty: Slogan and Alibi - What's the Problem? - What really is a poor person? - An Alibi? - Conclusion Bibliography Index

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GILBERT RIST is a leading Swiss scholar of development and professor at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (IUED) in Geneva. He is the author of a number of intellectually pathbreaking books highly critical of conventional development thinking in the field. The History of Development is the first published in English, and is translated by PATRICK CAMILLER.

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