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Theories of Development: Contentions, Arguments, Alternatives 3ed

by Richard Peet and Elaine Hartwick Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Pbk 370 pages
AU$105.00 NZ$108.70
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This widely adopted text starts with the fundamentals - what is economic growth, what is development, and what is the relationship between these two concepts? The authors examine orthodox theories of growth grounded in different schools of economics (classical, neoclassical, Keynesian, neoliberal) before considering critical alternatives (Marxist, socialist, poststructuralist, and feminist). The book elucidates the basic ideas that underpin contemporary controversies and debates surrounding economic growth, environmental crisis, and global inequality. It highlights points of contention among the various theories, links them to historical and current world events, and works toward envisioning a form of development that makes life better for all.

New to This Edition

-Reflects the latest data and global development trends, such as the effects on economies of extreme weather events and climate change.

-New discussions throughout the chapters, including the work of Thomas Piketty, Richard Florida, William Easterly, Niall Ferguson, and Arturo Escobar.

-Responds to current crises, including the global financial meltdown and its consequences and the rise of finance capitalism.


*Update of a successful text; 30% new material includes theories from Piketty, Florida, Easterly, and Escobar. *Incorporates the latest quantitative information, presented in lucid, accessible language.

*Offers a critical survey of major theories of development, addressing hot topics such as climate change, the global financial crisis, and the private ownership of finance capital. *Connects theoretical perspectives to real-world events and reveals points of contention among different schools of thought, providing a complete view of development. *Analyzes the full range of classical, neoclassical, and critical theories of development.

AUDIENCE Students and instructors in geography, political science, sociology, economics, business, and educational policy.

COURSE USE Serves as a text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses such as Development Geography, Development Policy, Economic Geography, Global Society, International Relations, Development and Social Change, Political Economy and Globalization, and Political Economy of Development.

1. Introduction: Growth versus Development
I. Conventional Theories of Development
2. Classical and Neoclassical Economics
3. From Keynesian Economics to Neoliberalism
4. Development as Modernization
II. Nonconventional, Critical Theories of Development
5. Marxism, Socialism, and Development
6. Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism, and Postdevelopmentalism
7. Feminist Theories of Development
III. Critical Modernism
8. Critical Modernism and Democratic Development

“Peet's survey of development theories makes for eminent reading, especially since it weaves philosophical underpinnings in a coherent fashion and provides cogent criticism of each approach. I can see it being used as a valuable text for undergraduate and graduate courses related to development planning." (on the first edition)
Richard Peet, PhD, is Professor of Geography at Clark University, where he was a founding member of the “radical geography movement” and long-time editor of Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography. His interests include development, global policy regimes, power, theory and philosophy, political ecology, and finance capitalism. The author of numerous books, articles, and book reviews, Dr. Peet is editor of the radical journal Human Geography.

Elaine Hartwick, PhD, is Professor of Geography at Framingham State University, Massachusetts, where she teaches courses in political, cultural, and regional geography and global development. She has published on commodity chains, consumer politics, social theory and development geography, with a regional specialization on Southern Africa.