Unlike other general works in the field of development studies, this book focuses on the theoretical and methodological foundations of an actor-oriented and social constructionist form of analysis as opposed to structural, institutional and political economy analyses. It also aims to show the usefulness of such an approach for providing new insights into critical areas of empirical enquiry. The latter cover a variety of key development issues: commoditisation and commodity values, small-scale enterprise and social capital, knowledge interfaces, networks and power, the interrelations of globalisation and localisation, as well as the dynamics of policy discourse and planned intervention. Wherever possible the arguments are elaborated and brought to life by reference to case studies and empirical materials collected during periods of fieldwork in parts of Africa and Latin America.