Although the academic study of development is well established, as is also its policy implementation, less considered are the broader, more popular understandings of development that often shape agendas and priorities, particularly in representative democracies.

Through its accessible and provocative chapters, Popular Representations of Development introduces the idea that while the issue of ‘development’ – defined broadly as problems of poverty and social deprivation, and the various agencies and processes seeking to address these – is normally one that is discussed by social scientists and policy makers, it also has a wider ‘popular’ dimension. Development is something that can be understood through studying literature, films, and other non-conventional forms of representation. It is also a public issue, one that has historically been associated with musical movements such as Live Aid and increasingly features in newer media such as blogs and social networking. The book connects the effort to build a more holistic understanding of development issues with an exploration of the diverse public sphere in which popular engagement with development takes place.

This book gives students of development studies, media studies and geography as well as students in the humanities engaging with global development issues a variety of perspectives from different disciplines to open up this new field for discussion.

part 1|15 pages


chapter 1|13 pages


Popular representations of development
ByDavid Lewis, Dennis Rodgers, Michael Woolcock

part 2|53 pages

Literature and fiction

chapter 2|19 pages

The fiction of development

Literary representation as a source of authoritative knowledge
ByDavid Lewis, Dennis Rodgers, Michael Woolcock

chapter 3|15 pages

Notes on teaching international studies with novels

Hard Times, Half of a Yellow Sun, and The Quiet American
ByJohn Harriss

chapter 4|17 pages

Considering ‘pedagogical' fictions and metanarratives of development

1 World Manga1
ByVeronica Davidov

part 3|39 pages

Media and television

chapter 5|19 pages

More news is bad news

Why studies of ‘the public faces of development' and ‘media and morality’ should be concerned with reality TV programmes
ByMartin Scott

chapter 6|18 pages

“Hidden in plain sight”

Baltimore, The Wire, and the politics of under-development in urban America
BySimon Parker

part 4|37 pages


chapter 7|18 pages

The projection of development

Cinematic representation as an(other) source of authoritative knowledge?
ByDavid Lewis, Dennis Rodgers, Michael Woolcock

chapter 8|17 pages

Affective histories

Imagining poverty in popular Indian cinema
ByEsha Shah

part 5|44 pages

Public campaigns

chapter 9|23 pages

Visual representations of development

The Empire Marketing Board poster campaign, 1926–1933
ByUma Kothari

chapter 10|19 pages

Band Aid reconsidered

Sentimental cultures and populist humanitarianism
ByCheryl Lousley

part 6|48 pages

New media

chapter 11|18 pages

Blogs + Twitter = Change?

Discursive reproduction of global governance and the limits of social media
ByTobias Denskus, Daniel E. Esser

chapter 12|28 pages


International development in the blogosphere
ByRyann Manning

part 7|12 pages


chapter 13|10 pages


Popular representations of development – taking stock, moving forward
ByDavid Lewis, Dennis Rodgers, Michael Woolcock