Throughout the twentieth century, governments sought to achieve 'development' not only in their own countries, but also in other regions of the world; particularly in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. This focus on 'development' as a goal has continued into the twenty-first century, for example through the United Nations Millennium Development Targets.
While development is often viewed as something very positive, it is also very important to consider the possible detrimental effects it may have on the natural environment, different social groups and on the cohesion and stability of societies.
In this important book, Katie Willis investigates and places in a historical context, the development theories behind contemporary debates such as globalization and transnationalism. The main definitions of 'development' and 'development theory' are outlined with a description and explanation of how approaches have changed over time. The differing explanations of inequalities in development, both spatially and socially, and the reasoning behind different development policies are also considered. By drawing on pre-twentieth century European development theories and examining current policies in Europe and the USA, the book not only stresses commonalities in development theorizing over time and space, but also the importance of context in theory construction.
This topical book provides an ideal introduction to development theories for students in geography, development studies, area studies, anthropology and sociology. It contains student-friendly features, including boxed case studies with examples, definitions, summary sections, suggestions for further reading, discussion questions and website information.