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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.
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