The Critical Development Studies Handbook

Tools for Change

Edited by Henry Veltmeyer  

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This handbook is a guide to ‘critical development studies’ (CDS)–the study of international development from the standpoint of social change, a critical perspective. As such the handbook provides a set of tools for entering and understanding the nature and scope of the interdisciplinary field of development studies. It is organized as a set of 50 short course modules. Each module is written by a well-known research specialist in the area; and each (a) identifies the six most critical questions or research theme in a particular area of CDS, (b) provides a succinct discussion of the central issues that surround these questions, and (c) makes substantive references to the most essential readings that explore these issues.

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  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Back to basics (Anthony H. O’Malley)
  • Critical development studies: The evolution of an idea (Jane Parpart, Henry Veltmeyer)
  • Section 1: Bring History Back In: Rolling back the canvas of time (Kari Polanyi Levitt)
  • History from a critical development perspective (Isaac Saney)
  • Reorienting history (Alain Gresh)
  • Section 2: Thinking Critically About Development: Theories of development: A critical economic perspective (James Cypher)
  • Development theory from a Latin American perspective (Cristóbal Kay)
  • Critical development theory (Ronaldo Munck)
  • Section 3: A System in Crisis: Contemporary capitalism: Development in an era of neoliberal globalization (Guillermo Foladori, Rail Delgado Wise)
  • Globalization, imperialism and development (James Petras)
  • Critical Globalization Studies: Globalization, poverty and development (Barry Gills)
  • The global collapse (Walden Bello)
  • Section 4: The International Dimension: International relations in development (Timothy Shaw, Henry Veltmeyer)
  • The United Nations and development (Krishna Ahooja-Patel)
  • Multilateral organizations in the new (neoleiberal) world order (Walden Bello)
  • The international policy framework (Manfred Bielefeld)
  • Aid, debt and trade: In the vortex of capitalist development (Luciano Vasapollo)
  • Section 5: The centrality of class in critical development studies (Berch Berberoglu)
  • Power and development: The politics of empire (James Petras)
  • The politics of development (John Harriss)
  • War and development (Michael Clow)
  • Section 6: The Poverty Problematic: The World Bank: Development, poverty, hegemony (David Moore)
  • The inequality predicament (Henry Veltmeyer)
  • The poverty problematic (John Harriss)
  • Section 7: Towards a New Paradigm: Social capital and local development (Henry Veltmeyer)
  • The Sustainable livelihoods approach: A CDS Perspective (A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi)
  • Human development in theory and practice (Joseph Tharamangalam, Ananya Mukherjee Reed)
  • Section 8: Power and Development: Class and Gender Matters: Critical social analysis and development (Anthony O’Malley)
  • Gender, empowerment and development (Jane Parpart)
  • Engendering the economy: Implications for critical development thinking and practice (Fiona Macphail)
  • Section 9: Culture, Knowldedge and Education For Development: The cultural matrix of development and change (Aradhana Parmar)
  • Knowledge and technology for development (Alexander Borda-Rodriguez, Sam Lanfranco)
  • Education and development (Gary Malcolm)
  • Section 10: Agrarian Transformation and Rural Development: Critical rural development studies (Haroon Akram-Lodhi)
  • Rural development from a Latin American perspective (Cristóbal Kay)
  • Contemporary land policies and land struggles (Saturnino [Jun] Borras, Jr.)
  • Section 11: Capitalism, Labour and Development: Labour, class and capitalism (Rosalind Boyd)
  • Migration and development: Labour in the global economy (Raúl Delgado Wise, Humberto Márquez Covarrubias)
  • Urban development in the global south (Charmain Levy)
  • Section 12: Nature, Energy and Development: Mainstream sustainable development (Darcy Victor Tetreault)
  • Sustainability in the social sciences: A Critical Perspective (David Barkin)
  • Political ecology: Environmentalism for a change (Anthony O’Malley and Michael Clow)
  • Energy and development: oil on troubled waters (John Saxe-Fernandez)
  • Section 13: Development on the Margins: Developing Africa (Dennis Canterbury)
  • Development and change in Latin American and the Caribbean (Fernando I. Leiva)
  • Development and change in Asia (Jos Mooij)
  • China’s re-emergence: A critical development perspective (Paul Bowles)
  • Socialism and development (Jeffery R. Webber)
  • Pathways of progressive social change and alternative development (Henry Veltmeyer)


  • Henry Veltmeyer

    Research Professor, Development Studies Program, Autonomous University of Zacatecas, México

    Dr. Veltmeyer lived and worked for six years in south America before coming to Canada to pursue a doctoral program in Political Science and subsequently (in 1976) beginning his academic career in the Sociology Department at St. Mary’s University. He has participated in the university’s Atlantic Canada Studies program and founded the program in International development in 1985. He also served for eight years as Coordinator of this program in addition to eight years as chair of the Sociology Department. Currently he has an academic appointment in the PhD program of Development Studies at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico and annually engages in an extended program of research and public lectures across Latin America. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of International Development Studies and serves on the editorial board of Studies in Political Economy and a number of international journals in his major field of research-the political economy of international development. Dr. Veltmeyer conducts research, writes and teaches about diverse issues related to the political economy and sociology of development, with a particular focus on issues of Latin American development, globalization processes, government policies, alternative models and approaches and social movements. Since 2000 he has authored/co-authored and edited 13 books and 25 scholarly refereed articles that have been published in Canada, the US, the UK, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador. Several of these books, written in English or Spanish, have received awards and have been translated into other languages - among them Portuguese, Italian, Tugalese and German. In addition to these scholarly books, several of which have achieved international recog-nition and/or special awards and distinctions, 25 of Dr. Veltmeyer’s scholarly articles since 2000 have been published in some of the most prestigious academic journals in his field or by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Places of publication include Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, the Netherlands and Switzerland

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