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Development   The use of resources to relieve poverty and raise living standards; the means by which a traditional, low-technology society is changed into a modern, high-technology society, with a corresponding increase in incomes. This can be done through mechanization, improvements in infrastructure and financial systems, and the intensification of agriculture. This definition is based on the more obvious distinctions in living standards between developed and less developed countries.

Narrowly economic definitions of development have been criticized, and many believe that true development includes social justice; ‘a focus on “global social justice” could provide a framework to think interesting and possibly dangerous thoughts about how to take the international development agenda beyond the relatively instrumental approach of the Millennium Development Goals’. Maxwell (2008) ODI Opin. reflect on the means and ends of development in its various forms. For example, Smith (2002) Area 34 argues against development as ‘some neutral concept of progress’ and Andolina et al. (2005) Pol. Geog. 24, 6, argue that as ‘indigenous movement platforms and concepts are increasingly institutionalized…their demands for culturally appropriate government and development are in practice implemented as governmentally and developmentally appropriate culture’. Potter (2001) Area 33 argues that development is a non-linear process, and ‘one should not mimic the experience of “developed” countries’. ‘For many local communities, the maintenance of social and cultural practices is central to participatory development and just as important as income gains and poverty reduction’ (Connell (2007) Sing. J. Trop. Geog. 28, 2). O’Reilly (2007) AAAG 97, 3 observes that women’s participation in development is a dialogic process that includes negotiating how women fieldworkers will participate within their own organizations; see also Sharpe et al. (2003) TIBG 28, 3.

Development indicators as measurements are simply concerned with statistics and do not indicate social structures and patterns of behaviour; there is no definitive definition of what development should be for each society, and no blueprint for how to achieve it. See D. Gasper (2004). Ethnodevelopment interprets culture and indigenous identity in ways that make it compatible with neoliberal social policy, but potentially restrict indigenous agency (Laurie et al. (2005) Antipode 37, 3).

Mayhew, S. (2015). Development. In A Dictionary of Geography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2021

In the Library's collection

Books on international development are scattered throughout the Library's collections. The main call number ranges include HC and HD. However, books class depending on what slant the research takes. If a book looks at scientific development, those books would be in the Q's. If you are looking for women and development, those books would be in the HQ's. So always check the catalog!

To find works on international development, you can do a keyword search for "international development." International development is not a subject heading used in the online catalog. The subject headings used include the following:

Don't forget to look at the related subject headings.

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Finding scholarly articles & journal title(s)

Our collection includes several journals which look at International Development. Several are listed below. You can also use the search box at the top of the page to find relevant, scholarly articles.