Best books about international development.
September 8, 2009 8:11 AM   Subscribe

International development practitioners, what are your favourite books on the subject? I'm looking for a range of stuff, from spittle-flecked polemic to the most respected academic research.
posted by johnny novak to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I teach international development economics here's a list I sent someone a while ago.

Blogs (Google it to find the URL):
Chris Blattman
Bill Easterly (Aid Watch)
Center for Global Development Blog

William Easterly The Elusive Quest for Growth (better of the two) and
White Man's Burden
Jeff Sachs The End of Poverty
Paul Collier The Bottom Billion
Joeseph Stiglitz Globalization and Its Discontents
Amartya Sen Development as Freedom
Robert Klittgard Tropical Gangster (more of a memoir, but its great)
Jagdish Bhagwati In Defense of Globalization

If you can read a regression table I really like the academic journal
World Development.
posted by akabobo at 9:51 AM on September 8, 2009

Encountering Development by Arturo Escobar is a crucial read for critiquing development theory, as is The History of Development by Gilbert Rist. And while I'm not actually sure I've read one of her books cover to cover, Chandra Mohanty is one of my favorites of the theorists critiquing development from feminist and post-colonial perspectives.

Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures is an interesting memoir written by a group of former UN employees. The UN was not pleased. I think it's an intriguing character study of a few of the types of people who get into relief and development work.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:52 AM on September 8, 2009

Disclaimer: I am not a practitioner but definitely thought about it. I studied this for my Master's in International Studies but more from the angle of stakeholder participation and collaboration among NGOs; here are a few good books that cover that area:

Carroll, T. F. (1992). Intermediary NGOs : the supporting link in grassroots development. Kumarian Press, West Hartford, Conn.

Despite Good Intentions by Thomas Dichter is a pretty scathing critique of a lot of international development. A very quick and interesting read even if you don't completely agree with the thesis.

Edwards, M. and Hulme, D. (1996). Beyond the magic bullet : NGO performance and accountability in the post-Cold War world. Kumarian Press, West Hartford, CT.

Feuerstein, M.T. (1993). Partners in Evaluation. Macmillan Press, London; Basingstoke. This one appears to be out of print, but is a fascinating look at how to gauge and measure participation by "clients" (the recipients of aid) in international development work.

Fowler, A. (1997). Striking a balance : a guide to enhancing the effectiveness of non-governmental organisations in international development. Earthscan, London.

Suzuki, N. (1998). Inside NGOs : managing conflicts between headquarters and field offices in non-governmental organizations. Intermediate Technology Publications, London.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:24 AM on September 8, 2009

thanks all
posted by johnny novak at 6:10 AM on September 14, 2009

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