The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies provides an up-to-date and authoritative introduction to the field, challenging mainstream development discourse and the assumptions that underlie it.

Critical development studies lays bare the economic, political, social, and environmental crises that characterise the current global capitalist system, proposing instead systemic change and different pathways for moving beyond capitalism into a new world of genuine progress where economic and social justice and ecological integrity prevail. In this book, the authors challenge market-driven, neoliberal development agendas, incorporating analyses of class, gender, race, and the dynamics of uneven capitalist development. This thoroughly revised and expanded second edition includes:

 • 18 new chapters, including on topics such as philanthrocapitalism, race, the energy transition, Indigenous resistance and resilience, and global health        

 • Expanded global coverage, including new chapters on South Africa, North Africa, and the Gulf Arab states

 • A new section on resistance and alternatives

 • Additional pedagogical features, including a glossary of key terms, discussion questions, and expanded guides for further reading.

This textbook will be essential reading for students of global development, political science, sociology, economics, gender studies, geography, history, anthropology, agrarian studies, international political economy, and area studies. It will also be an important resource for development researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.

part |10 pages

Critical development studies

chapter 1|8 pages

Introduction to critical development studies

Four characteristics with illustrations from seven decades

part I|10 pages

History as development

part II|44 pages

Thinking critically about development

chapter 3|8 pages

Critical development theory

Results and prospects

chapter 4|9 pages

Race in/and development

chapter 5|9 pages

Development theory

The Latin American pivot

part III|46 pages

System dynamics

part IV|34 pages

Policy configurations for development

part V|34 pages

Inside the BRICS

chapter 17|8 pages


Development strategies and peripheral conditions

chapter 18|8 pages


Critical issues of a ‘tortuous transition’

chapter 20|8 pages

South Africa

An economy of extremes

part VI|43 pages

Poverty, inequalities, and development dynamics

chapter 21|8 pages


Class matters

chapter 22|8 pages

The dynamics of poverty production

A political economy perspective for the SDGs era

chapter 24|8 pages

Women, work, and gender inequalities

with illustrations from Cambodia and China

part VII|41 pages

Capital, labour and the state

chapter 26|8 pages

Labour and development

chapter 27|8 pages

The triangle of underdevelopment

Technology, patents, and monopoly

part VIII|35 pages

Dynamics of agrarian change and urban development

part IX|34 pages

Development, climate change, and the environment

part X|48 pages

Resistances and alternatives

chapter 42|8 pages

Colonialism's miasmas

Indigenous resistance and resilience

chapter 44|9 pages

Communitarian revolutions

Ecological economics from below

part |9 pages


chapter 45|7 pages

Moving towards another world

Possibilities and pitfalls