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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 21st 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 of development on the natural environment, different social groups and on the cohesion and stability of societies.
Theories and Practices of Development 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 to "development" have changed over time. The differing explanations of inequalities indevelopment, both spatially and socially, and the reasoning behind different development policies are also considered. By drawing on pre-20th century European theories about development 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.
The 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 and definitions of concepts and terms. The book also contains tables, figures and pictures. By using empirical material, the book aims to show how development theories have been put into practice in the policy field, and also to make it easier for students to understand complex theoretical ideas. Each chapter has a summary section, suggestions for follow-up reading, discussion questions andinformation about useful websites.