The Myth of Development

Non-viable Economies and the Crisis of Civilization

Oswaldo De Rivero

Development Essentials Edition


This classic text shows how both state-driven and market-led development models have failed and argues for a completely new kind of agenda.

The Myth of Development boldly states that the benefits of development, so long promised over the past sixty years, have not come about for most people. Nor are they going to.

State-driven and market-led development models have both failed. Many countries, and their cities in particular, are collapsing into ungovernable chaotic entities. De Rivero shows that the root of this chaos is not simply economic, but stems from a much more profound crisis of our way of life and of our unsustainable global urban civilization. Arguing that the 'wealth of nations' agenda must be replaced by a 'survival of nations' agenda in order to prevent increasing human misery and political disorder, De Riviero explains why many countries must abandon dreams of development and adopt instead a policy of national survival based on providing basic water, food, renewable energy, and stabilizing their populations.

Featuring a new introduction by the author, this edition engages with the latest findings on climate change and assesses the prospects for our species in the decades ahead.

Author Bio

Oswaldo de Rivero is a Diplomat, Ambassador (retired) with the Foreign Service of Peru. He has served in London, Moscow, Geneva and New York; as Peru's Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO), to the United Nations Offices in Geneva and New York and on the United Nations Security Council. He has written numerous essays and articles in Le Monde Diplomatique, The UNESCO Courier, as well as the written press in Geneva and Latin America.

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the New Edition
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Twilight of the Nation-State
  • 2. Global Empowerment and National Impoverishment
  • 3. International Darwinism
  • 4. The Search for El Dorado
  • 5. Human and Natural Depredation
  • 6. The Crisis of the California Model
  • Index


'This book is essential reading - because of the originality of its point of view, the timeliness of its analysis and the startling propositions which it puts forward. Bristling with new ideas, the author provides us with an intelligent way into understanding better the world's present disorders.'
Le Monde Diplomatique

'This is an original and thought-provoking book for the new Millennium, which rejects one of the most widely-held beliefs of the Twentieth Century that development is an inevitable process for Nation States. Highly readable, The Development Myth is a useful tool for understanding the enormous problems for survival that will have to be faced by the poverty-stricken, exploding urban populations of the wrongly called "developing countries".'
Javier Perez de Cuellar, United Nations

'This provocative and well-written book may stimulate discussion and promote sound survival and development policies.'
The Choice


Publication Date: 15 September 2019
176 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback 3rd Edition: 9781786997616
Hardback 3rd Edition: 9781786997609
eBook ePub 3rd Edition: 9781786997623
eBook PDF 3rd Edition: 9781786997630
eBook Kindle 3rd Edition: 9781786997647

Previous Editions: Paperback 2nd Edition: 9781848135840
Paperback 1st Edition: 9781856499491
Hardback 1st Edition: 9781848135833
eBook ePub 2nd Edition: 9781848139060
eBook PDF 2nd Edition: 9781848135857
eBook Kindle 2nd Edition: 9781780327075

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