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Development   The use of resources to relieve poverty and improve the standard of living of a nation; the means by which a traditional, low‐technology society is changed into a modern, high‐technology society, with a corresponding increase in incomes. This may be achieved 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, but it may be that a change to ‘western’ conditions is not in the best interests of a Third World nation.

Narrowly economic definitions of development, based on indicators such as per capita GNP, production, consumption, and investment have been criticized (see Human Development Index). Many geographers believe that true development includes improvements in social justice; for example, in a more equitable distribution of income, or in an improvement in women's and minority rights.

Development indicators as used by the World Bank include details of birth and death rates, fertility, life expectancy, health, urbanization, industrialization, production, consumption, investment, capital, income, education, energy consumption, and trade. These indices of development 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 blue‐print for how to achieve it.


"development"  A Dictionary of Geography. Susan Mayhew. Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Dartmouth College.  12 November 2008  

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.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Journal articles & titles

Our collection includes several journals which look at International Development. To find them, do the following keyword search in the online catalog : "international development." International Development is not a subject heading used in online catalogs. However, to see how many more titles there are, you can search in Worldcat. Use a keyword search with the terms "international development" and "periodicals." Below is a short list of some of the journal titles we have in our Library's collection.

Other library resource(s)