The End of Development

A Global History of Poverty and Prosperity

Andrew Brooks


A scathing indictment of the current development agenda, and an impassioned call for a new and radical approach to alleviating global poverty.

Why did some countries grow rich while others remained poor?

Tracing the long arc of human history from hunter gatherer societies to the early twenty first century, Andrew Brooks rejects popular explanations for the divergence of nations. This accessible and illuminating volume shows how the wealth of ‘the West’ and poverty of ‘the rest’ stem not from environmental factors or some unique European cultural, social or technological qualities, but from the expansion of colonialism and the rise of America. Brooks puts the case that international inequality was moulded by capitalist development over the last 500 years.

The End of Development provides a compelling account of how human history unfolded differently in varied regions of the world. Brooks argues that we must now seize the opportunity afforded by today’s changing economic geography to transform attitudes towards inequality and to develop radical new approaches to addressing global poverty, as the alternative is to accept that impoverishment is somehow part of the natural order of things.

Author Bio

Andrew Brooks is a lecturer in development geography at King’s College London. His research examines connections between spaces of production and places of consumption, and particularly the geographies of economic and social change in Africa. Fieldwork has taken him to India, Papua New Guinea and across Africa. Research in Africa has included extensive investigations of markets and politics in Malawi and Mozambique as well as Chinese investment in Zambia. His previous books include Clothing Poverty (Zed 2015)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: What’s Wrong with Development?
  • Part I: Making the Modern World
    • 1. Environmental Determinism and Early Human History
    • 2. Colonializing the World
    • 3. America: Making the Modern World
  • Part II: Development and Change
    • 4. Anticipating Modernity
    • 5. The Debt Crisis and The Resource Curse
    • 6. East Asian Tigers
  • Part III: After Development
    • 7. Is Africa Rising?
    • 8. Depoliticizing Development
    • 9. What Next? The End of Development
  • References


‘An ambitious and engaging book, challenging readers to go beyond simple depictions of development success or failure to examine how colonialism and capitalism are implicated in current global economic and social inequalities, and to consider alternative futures.’
Katie Willis, Royal Holloway, University of London

‘It is very difficult to say something new about development, but this book does just that, particularly in providing new insights on Africa: its importance in the distant and recent past, the present and into the future. The unusual combination of history and human stories makes for great reading.’
Gustavo Esteva, co-author of The Future of Development: A Radical Manifesto

'What can be done to reduce poverty and spur economic development in areas that have been left behind? Brooks's engaging style and interesting nuggets of political history scattered throughout the chapters dealing with the modern period draw the reader into engaging with the important questions he asks.'
Population and Development Review

'The aid industry and African politics are examined in a holistic and critical manner that is most illuminating … fits within a genre of accessible economics texts such as those of Joseph Stiglitz and Naomi Klein … Andrew Brooks has hit the mark.'
New Global Studies

'Succeeds in telling the counter-narrative of ‘development’ by showing that more prosperity does not mean less poverty … rich in examples and figures supporting the main argument that inequality is central to capitalist development.'
Society & Natural Resources


Publication Date: 15 May 2017
296 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786990204
Hardback: 9781786990211
eBook ePub: 9781786990228
eBook PDF: 9781786990235
eBook Kindle: 9781786990242

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