A Radical History of Development Studies

Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies

Edited by Uma Kothari

Development Essentials Edition


A genealogy of development looking at the contested evolution and roles of development institutions and exploring changes in development discourses.

A Radical History of Development Studies traces the history of the subject from the late colonial period all the way through to contemporary focus on poverty reduction.

In this now classic genealogy of development, the authors look at the contested evolution and roles of development institutions and explore changes in development discourses. Combining personal and institutional reflections with an examination of key themes, including gender and development, NGOs, and natural resource management, A Radical History of Development Studies challenges mainstream development theory and practice and highlights concealed, critical discourses that have been written out of conventional stories of development.

The volume is intended to stimulate thinking on future directions for the discipline. It also provides an indispensable resource for students coming to grips with the historical continuities and divergences in the theory and practice of development.

Author Bio

Uma Kothari is a senior lecturer in development studies at the School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester. She has carried out research in India and Mauritius and her research interests include histories and theories of development, colonial and post-colonial discourse, social development and migration and development. She is co-editor of Participation: The New Tyranny? (Zed Books, 2001, with B. Cooke) and Development Theory and Practice: Critical Perspectives (2002, with M. Minogue).

Table of Contents

  • 1. A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies - Uma Kothari
  • 2. Great Promise, Hubris and Recovery: A Participant's History of Development Studies - John Harriss
  • 3. From colonialism administration to development studies: a postcolonial critique of the history of development studies - Uma Kothari
  • 4. Critical Reflections of a Development Nomad - Robert Chambers
  • 5. Secret Diplomacy Uncovered: Research on the World Bank in the 1960s and 1980s - Teresa Hayter
  • 6. Development Studies and the Marxists - Henry Bernstein
  • 7. Journeying in Radical Development Studies: A Reflection on Thirty Years of Researching Pro-Poor Development - John Cameron
  • 8. The Rise and Rise of Gender and Development - Ruth Pearson
  • 9. Development Studies, Nature and Natural Resources: Changing Narratives and Discursive Practices - Phil Woodhouse and Admos Chimhowu
  • 10. Individuals, Organisations and Public Action: Trajectories of the 'Non-Governmental' in Development Studies - David Lewis


'Provides a critical analysis of the history of international development...the contributors adopt a distinct radical perspective on the subject.'
International Review of Social History

'Overall, it is a stimulating book...very well documented, it facilitates a retracing of the history of the field and it also highlights how individuals involved had to continually rethink or revisit what they had been doing.'
Development and Change


Publication Date: 15 September 2019
240 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback 2nd Edition: 9781786997661
Hardback 2nd Edition: 9781786997654
eBook ePub 2nd Edition: 9781786997678
eBook PDF 2nd Edition: 9781786997685
eBook Kindle 2nd Edition: 9781786997692
Library Edition: 9781842775240

Previous Editions: Paperback 1st Edition: 9781842775257
eBook PDF 1st Edition: 9781786991553

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