Philip McMichael describes a world undergoing profound social, political, and economic transformations, from the post-World War II era through the present. He tells a story of development in four parts - colonialism, developmentalism, globalization, and sustainability - that shows how the global development "project" has taken different forms from one historical period to the next.
Throughout the text, the underlying conceptual framework is that development is a political construct, created by dominant actors (states, multilateral institutions, corporations and economic coalitions) and based on unequal power arrangements. While rooted in ideas about progress and prosperity, development also produces crises that threaten the health and well-being of millions of people, and sparks organized resistance to its goals and policies. Frequent case studies make the intricacies of globalization concrete, meaningful, and clear.
Philip McMichael grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, and is an International Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University. His book Settlers and The Agrarian Question: Foundations of Capitalism in Colonial Australia (Cambridge University Press, (c)1984) won the 1995 Social Science History Association's Allan Sharlin Memorial Award. He has also edited The Global Restructuring of Agro-Food Systems (Cornell University Press, (c)1994), Food and Agrarian Orders in the World Economy (Praeger, (c)1995), New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development (Emerald, (c)2005), and Contesting Development: Critical Struggles for Social Change (Routledge, (c)2010). He has served as Director of Cornell University's International Political Economy Program, as Chair of the American Sociological Association's Political Economy of the World-System Section, and President of the Research Committee on the Sociology of Agriculture and Food for the International Sociological Association. And he has recently worked with the FAO, IATP and UNRISD, the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty, and the international peasant coalition, La Via Campesina.
Chapter 1: Development: Theory and Reality Development: History and Politics Development Theory Social Change Part I: The Development Project (Late 1940s to Early 1970s) Chapter 2: Instituting the Development Project Colonialism Decolonization Decolonization and Development Postwar Decolonization and the Rise of the Third World Ingredients of the Development Project Framing the Development Project Economic Nationalism Chapter 3: The Development Project: International Framework The International Framework Remaking the International Division of Labor The Food-Aid Regime Remaking Third World Agricultures Chapter 4: Globalizing Developments Third World Industrialization in Context Agricultural Globalization Global Finance Part II: The Globalization Project (1980s to 2000s) Chapter 5: Instituting the Globalization Project Securing the Global Market Empire The Debt Regime The Globalization Project Global Governance The World Trade Organization Chapter 6: The Globalization Project in Practice Poverty Governance Outsourcing Displacement Informalization Global Recolonization Chapter 7: Global Countermovements Environmentalism Feminism Food Sovereignty Part III: Millennial Reckonings (2000s to Present) Chapter 8: The Globalization Project in Crisis Social Crisis Legitimacy Crisis Geopolitical Transitions Ecological Crisis Chapter 9: Sustainable Development? The Challenge of Climate Change Responses to the Sustainability Challenge Business as Usual Public Interventions Grassroots Developments Chapter 10: Rethinking Development Development in the Gear of Social Change Paradigm Change