This collection brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars exploring how development financing and interventions are being shaped by a wider and more complex platform of actors than usually considered in the existing literature. The contributors also trace a changing set of key relations and alliances in development – those between business and consumers; NGOs and celebrities; philanthropic organizations and the state; diaspora groups and transnational advocacy networks; ruling elites and productive capitalists; and between ‘new donors’ and developing country governments. Despite the diversity of these actors and alliances, several commonalities arise: they are often based on hybrid transnationalism and diffuse notions of development responsibility; rather than being new per se, they are newly being studied as engaging in practices that are now coming to be understood as ‘development’; and they are limited in their ability to act as agents of development by their lack of accountability or pro-poor commitment. The articles in this collection point to images and representations as increasingly important in development ‘branding’ and suggest fruitful new ground for critical development studies.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly.