The Rise and Fall of Development Theory

The Rise and Fall of Development Theory

Colin Leys
Distribution: Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico and United States of America
Publication date: 05/19/2009
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21016-6
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Description

He has this wonderful and rare capacity to delineate the most complex of arguments in the most limpid prose. He never takes refuge in jargon. He demolishes pretentiousness. He is disarmingly honest. He hits you between the eyes. He is not afraid to be a lone voice as, increasingly, nowadays he is, the still small voice of humane sanity in an increasingly barbarous and market-oriented world. He makes immediate sense to anybody voting marginally to the left of Genghis Khan, Mrs. Thatcher or Newt Gingrich." —John Lonsdale, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.


This book is a "stock-taking" of development theory at the end of the 20th century. It argues that the assumptions on which development theory has rested since the 1950s no longer hold. The postcolonial "third world" for which development theory was originally developed has fractured into increasingly diverse regions, while the end of the postwar regime of regulated international trade and capital movements has drastically curtailed the scope for state economic intervention. A much broader based, more historical and more explicitly political theoretical effort is now called for.

Author Bio

COLIN LEYS is Professor of Political Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. His Underdevelopment in Kenya, published in 1977, was one of the most influential texts of the time.

Reviews

““This is stimulating and authoritative coverage of development theory and its repercussions.” —International Review of Adminstrative Sciences “This humane and lucid book is about development in the broadest sense . . . Anybody with a professional interest in the development business would be well advised to read it in order to remind themselves of what their work is really about.” —Development Policy Review “[Colin Leys] has this wonderful and rare capacity to delineate the most complex of arguments in the most limpid prose. He never takes refuge in jargon. He demolishes pretentiousness. He is disarmingly honest. He hits you between the eyes.” —John Lonsdale, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge “. . . Colin Leys has provided an eminently readable, well argued and concise survey of ‘western’ development theory, which provides much of interest for the initiated and novice alike . . . it would make an excellent student text . ..” —The Times Higher Educational Supplement “. . . this important volume deserves a place on every bookshelf of those concerned with African development and on every required reading list for courses on this subject.” —Political Science Quarterly This book is a “stock-taking” of development theory at the end of the 20th century. It argues that the assumptions on which development theory has rested since the 1950s no longer hold. A much broader based, more historical and more explicitly political theoretical effort is now called for.”

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Table of Contents

I. Development Theory
1. The Rise and Fall of Development Theory
2. Underdevelopment and Dependency
3. Samuel Huntington and the End of Classical Modernization Theory
4. Conflict and Convergence in Development Theory

II. Development Theory and Africa
5. African Economic Development in Theory and Practice
6. The State and the Crisis of Simple Commodity Production in Africa
7. The Kenya Debate
8. The Kenya Debate Ten Years On
9. From Ghana to Namibia: The Meaning of African Independence

Index