The Evolution of Development Thinking: Governance, Economics, Assistance, and Security

by William Ascher, Garry D. Brewer, G. Shabbir Cheema, and John M. Heffron

Politics, Economics, and Inclusive Development

Publisher: New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Available From: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978-1-137-56038-4
Binding: hardcover
Pages: xiii, 287


This comprehensive analysis of how development approaches have evolved since World War II outlines and evaluates the succession of theories, doctrines, and practices formulated and applied in the Third World and beyond. Covering all developing regions, the book offers an integrated approach for considering the entwined aspects of development: governance, economics, foreign assistance, civil society, and the military. Relying on selective case studies, the authors explain why development approaches fall short, and relate the evolution of development thinking to current challenges, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of key institutions that have distorted otherwise sound doctrines and negatively affected development practice. In identifying the dynamics that have undermined past development attempts, and recommending better integration of doctrines across inter-connected development fronts, the book points to how development practice may be improved to advance human dignity.


Details and ordering information at Palgrave Macmillan

  1. Introduction
  2. Evolution of Economic Development Theories and Doctrines since World War II
  3. Economic Policy and Program Practice
  4. Evolution of Governance and Development Administration Theory
  5. Evolution of Governance and Development Administration Practice
  6. Evolving Roles of NGOs in Developing Countries
  7. Evolution of Foreign Assistance Theories and Doctrines
  8. International Development in the American Grain: From Point Four to the Present
  9. Evolving Roles of the Military in Developing Countries
  10. Complementarity of Security and Development Doctrines: Historical Cases and Aftermaths
  11. Conclusion: Linkages and Challenges


"This book is a valuable and timely addition to the literature on development. It is a much welcomed study that provides a very good historic overview of how development approaches have evolved and continue to evolve to respond to new global, regional, and domestic challenges, and the rationale behind the solutions proposed."

—Patrick Keuleers, Director, Governance and Peacebuilding,
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support,
United Nations Development Programme

"This book is an important contribution to enhancing our understanding of the evolution of development thinking and practice in developing countries. The book should be of great interest to development scholars, students, international development agencies, and policymakers."

—Kem Lowry, Emeritus Professor of Urban and
Regional Planning, University of Hawaii, USA

"This book delves into current development dilemmas by analyzing the ways of exercising power through creative policy interventions that have emerged in the last century. In this framework, NGOs have become a key players connecting global to local scales to drive growth strategies and lead through action."

—Paula Moreno, President, Visible Hands,
Former Minister of Culture of Colombia, and
Member of the Board of the Ford Foundation

"This book offers scholars and students a structured approach to the study of economic and political development. The theory-doctrine-practice continuum, carried forth as a framing tool throughout the book, proves purposeful for examining broad concepts and case material alike."

—Matthew R. Auer, Dean of the Faculty and Professor
of Environmental Studies, Bates College, USA