UE What development for whom ? Epistemology of development theories

Degrees incorporating this pedagocial element :


This first course aims at providing a critical overview on how the idea of ‘development’ has been conceived, by and for whom. The course focuses on development theory, tracing its history and delving into its debates, with a particular emphasis on critical development studies. Current mainstream visions and alternative approaches will be discussed in the light of the global North-South circulation of innovative approaches towards 'development'. Placed at the beginning of the programme, it aims at equipping students with the theoretical tools that will be used all year.
Most of this course will take place over a few days, off campus, in the nearby Trièves, in the mountains close to Grenoble. It will thus provide opportunities for students to get to know each other, as well as engage in field trips.


Solid background in social sciences

Targeted skills

Placed at the beginning of the programme,this course aims at equipping students with the theoretical tools that will be used all year. The basics of critical development will be discussed to set up a concept and tool box, common to all teaching units.


Essential readings:

1. Escobar, A. (1997). "The Making and Unmaking of the Third World Through Development", in Ramenah, M. /Bawtree, V. The Post-Development Reader. London, Zed books. p. 85-93.
2. Frank, A.G. “The Development of Underdevelopment (1969)” in Roberts, T./Hite, A.B. (ed.) (2008) The Globalisation and Development Reader. Perspectives in Development and Global Change.
3. Inda, J. X. and R. Rosaldo, Eds. (2002). The Anthropology of Globalization : a Reader. Oxford, Blackwell.
4. Sharp, J.P. (2009). Geographies of Postcolonialism, SAGE Publications, London. Chapter 6: 'Can subaltern speak?
5. Sheppard, E./Porter, P.W./Faust, D.R. (2009).  A World of Difference. Encountering and Contesting Development (2nd ed). Guilford Press. N.Y./London  (Part I: Differentiated Ways of Knowing p. 3-116).
6. Mitchell, K and Sparke, M. (2015), « The New Washington Consensus: Millennial Philanthropy and the Making of Global Market Subjects », Antipode (Forthcoming).

Additional readings:

A good overview on the history of Development Studies
Peet, R. (2009). Theories of Development: Arguments, Contentions, Alternatives, with Elaine Hartwick, New York: Guilford Press.

Negri A. / Hardt, M.  (2000) Empire, Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England: Harvard University Press.

Postcolonial  studies
Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (1995). The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London ; New York: Routledge.
Chakrabarty, D. (2000). Provincializing Europe: postcolonial thought and historical difference. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Mbembe, A. (2001). On the Postcolony. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mc Ewan (2009) Postcolonialism and Development. New York Routledge.
Jacobs, J. M. (1996). Edge of Empire : Postcolonialism and the City. London ; New York: Routledge.
Sharp, J. P. (2009). Geographies of Postcolonialism : Spaces of Power and Representation. Los Angeles ; London: SAGE.

Postdevelopment studies
Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering Development. The Making and Unmaking of the Third World, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ramenah, M. /Bawtree, V. (1997). The Post-Development Reader. London, Zed books.
Rist, G. (2010). Development as a buzzword, in Cornwall, A./Eade, D. (ed.) Deconstructing Development Discourse. Buzzwords and Fuzzwords. Oxfam GB.
Rist, G. (2003). The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, Expanded Edition, London: Zed Books.
Sachs, W. (ed.) (1992). The Development Reader. A Guide to Kowledge and Power, London: Zed Books.

Contemporary trends in development theories
Escobar, A. (2008). Territories of Difference. Place, Movements, Life, Redes. Duke University Press, Durham/London.
also see : Territorial struggles as ontological politics : implications for post/development conference of A. Escobar at IGA, Grenoble (11/06/2013): http://www.pacte-grenoble.fr/blog/post-developpement-et-territoire/

Harvey, D. (2000) Spaces of Hope. Berkeley and L.A.: University of California Press.
Pieterse. J. N.(2000). After post-development. Third World Quarterly.21(2), p. 175-191.
Schieffer, A. and Lessem, R. (2014). Integral Development. Realising the Transformative Potential of Individuals, Organisations and Societies. TRANS4M Center for Integral Development, Geneva.